With fall quickly approaching taking a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway is high on my must do list. The vistas are amazing and it is one of the best ways I know to slow down and appreciate what Mother Nature shows us each year.
Happy Anniversary, Blue Ridge Parkway! Yes, that's right, our beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway celebrates 75 years this fall. Building of the Parkway officially began on September 11, 1935, near Cumberland Knob in North Carolina. Work in Virginia began in February of 1936.
Stanley L. Abbott, who became known as the "father of the Blue Ridge Parkway" for his work on its design, was hired to plan the route. Abbott developed a plan to create the Parkway as a chain of parks and areas of recreation where visitors could stop and enjoy the panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, as well as the natural wildlife and flora and fauna of the area. The project was under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. Much of the early work was performed by crews hired under various New Deal programs.
The first part of the Parkway was a 12.5 mile section that was the first of 45 planned sections. Ultimately, the Blue Ridge Parkway would run all the way from the Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
When World War II broke out, about $20 million had been spent on the Parkway and 170 miles were open to travel, while another 160 miles were under construction. Due to delays caused by the war, the Parkway was only about half completed by the mid-1950's. A development program known as Mission 66 was started in 1958 and construction accelerated. By 1966, only 7.7 miles over Grandfather Mountain remained incomplete.
Finally, in 1987, the entire 469-mile Parkway was completed and open to traffic, and is now the most visited part of the National Park Service.
With the approach of the fall season, the Blue Ridge Parkway will put on its finest colors for those who care to visit. Smith Mountain Lake homeowners are close to the Parkway and its natural beauty, as well as near the lovely views of Smith Mountain Lake itself. If you're planning a visit to the Blue Ridge Parkway to see the vistas of colorful fall foliage, why not make a stop at Smith Mountain Lake part of your itinerary and see what it has to offer as well. You may not want to leave!
To learn more about some of the beautiful homes for sale in the Smith Mountain Lake area, contact Jane Sullivan Horne or visit her website. Jane and her staff can also be reached at 540-493-1690 and are ready to help you find your perfect spot at Smith Mountain Lake, whether for year-round living, a seasonal vacation home, or the retirement home of your dreams.
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