North Carolina Mountain Region


While taking one of our featured drives on the parkway, you will pass a variety of overlooks, trails, lakes, and activities which are fun for anyone of any age.

Whether you're in a car, motorcycle or on a bike, or foot, you are in for a treat!

We have compiled information and history on the all the overlooks that you will pass on your Autumn Trip on the Parkway -enjoy!
Just click on your trip, to get more information about the overlooks and activities that await you on this fantastic stretch of the Parkway.
 Jefferson to Blowing Rock
 MM 267- 291  
Blowing Rock to Banner Elk
MM 291- 305  
Banner Elk to Spruce Pine
MM 305- 317  

Starting at Parkway Mile Marker (MM) 267 and driving to Parkway  Mile Marker 291

MM-267 - Mount Jefferson Overlook

You will see this overlook if you take the 194 Scenic Drive on the Featured Drives Page Listed under Boone.

Overlooking Mt. Jefferson State Park, which encompasses 474 acres and offers picnicking and hiking, you might be able to see Grandfather mountain from the peak of this 4,515 ft. peak.
You won't be the first, as members of the underground railroad used this as a stop along the track to freedom.

MM-272 - Jeffress Park

Hiking and picnicking abound at this park, but my favorite part are the historic structures on the premises The Jesse Brown Cabin and the Cool Spring Baptist Church date to the mid 1800s and are fully accessible to the public.

MM 270 -292

From the intersection of the Parkway and 421 driving to Blowing Rock, Choose Blowing Rock on the  Featured Drives page

Coming from Hwy 421 to Blowing Rock there are multiple views of the North Eastern Side of the Blue Ridge Plateau which Blowing Rock is built on. This plateau defines the Blue Ridge crest, forming the drainage divide between the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. On this side the Yadkin begins to descend into the piedmont area of NC

Grandview Overlook 

As the Parkway nears the Deep Gap exit, there is a spectacular rolling valley prone to rainbows such as this one photographed by David Cottrell

Aho Gap

After passing over Aho Gap (Indian name) and the Eastern Continental divide, you will reach an overlook on the right. this overlook is wonderful because it is the only one featured here that faces west towards Boone NC. You can hear the whistle of Tweetsie Railroad or see the top of Flattop Mountain. Flattop Mountain will be front left in your view and is located behind Blowing Rock.
It is home to springs which drain off the lush mountain following the Parkway north, to become the New River, from here they flow into West Virginia, meet the Kanawa River, the Ohio river, and finally the Mississippi River which flows into the Gulf of Mexico.

Blue Ridge Plateau-  

After Aho Gap there are a number of easterly overlooks before you arrive in Blowing Rock. All of these provide a wonderful view of the Blue Ridge Plateau as you near Blowing Rock.

MM 291 Exit to Blowing Rock 

Parkway crosses highway 321, exit to Blowing Rock, or proceed to Banner Elk

Bibliography - quotes, material, and reference material taken from the following

Looking for more information on taking your vacation in the High Country?
For information regarding accommodations, events, Dining in the High Country and things to do, visit the North Carolina Mountain Vacations guide.




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