The Transylvania Times -

By Derek McKissock
News Editor 

The Blue Ridge Parkway Is “America’s Favorite Drive”


Last updated 7/11/2012 at 4:31pm


Of the 469 miles that make up the Blue Ridge Parkway, 24 of them go through Transylvania County.

“America’s Favorite Drive,” as the Parkway is known, enters the county at milepost 407.5 and exits at milepost 423.5.

Traveling North, travelers will soon come upon the Pisgah Inn, which sits 5,000 feet above sea level. The inn, which is open through Nov. 3, offers lodging and fine dining. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. A crafts and gift shop and a country store are also available at the inn, as well as access to many nearby trails.

For more information about the inn, call (828) 253-8228 or go to One nearby trail from the inn is Mount Pisgah. The 1.6-mile hike to the summit can be demanding but is worth the effort, offering spectacular 360-degree views.

Heading south from U.S. 276 along the Parkway, travelers will come across Graveyard Fields at milepost 418. It’s a popular spot for picnics and a chance to dip one’s feet in a cool stream on a hot day. Berry pickers have also been known to scour the bushes that dot the area, but be wary of snakes.

The site also offers walks along maze-like trails in a unique environment.

The Graveyard Fields Loop trail begins at the typically crowded overlook. Other trails will take you to waterfalls. The Graveyard Ridge trail ascends and then travels along Graveyard Ridge itself before ending at the intersection with the Ivestor Gap and Mountains to Sea Trails.

At milepost 422, the Devil’s Courthouse is a stop-off point for a short but slightly strenuous half-of-a-mile trek along a trail that ends with spectacular views into North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. Just along from the courthouse, at milepost 420.2, is the Black Balsam area and its multiple hikes and great alpine-like views. Camping at any of the Parkway’s sites costs $16 per site.


Advance reservations may be made at many of the Parkway’s campgrounds at or by calling (877) 444-6777.

Fishing is allowed in Parkway lakes and streams with either a North Carolina or Virginia license.

For more information visit or call (828) 293-5330.

Transylvania SPOTLIGHT

Joe Moore is the Brevard City Manager.

“The Blue Ridge Parkway always served as our excuse to prolong vacations. Rather than

taking the interstate, we would find the means, and even invent the rationale, to take the Parkway home.

“Undoubtedly, those lengthy detours left us bleary eyed but never discontent or regretful. While the Parkway is a 469-mile connection between two parks, the road is less about destinations and more about journeys that

affect all travelers


“The engineer in me loves the design that harkens back to a golden age of public works.

“Curvilinear alignments that hug the landscape and intricate stonework that fronts the tunnels reflect the Parkway’s status as a long-term public investment and source of community pride.

“However, the Parkway speaks to me most as a citizen. Crafted during a time that easily overshadows our current hardships, the Parkway is a tangible testament to our unimaginable ability to overcome and create things of beauty when we work together.

“Yes, the Parkway connects two parks, but it’s not a connection — it’s an interconnection.”


Graveyard Fields’ unique environment was created by wind, but it’s not known when, that blew over trees at the site.

The remaining tree stumps were covered in moss, making them appear as thousands of headstones.

In 1925, a major fire, which destroyed 25,000 acres, also

destroyed many of the headstones.

There is no definitive reason how the Devil’s Courthouse got its name. According to information provided by the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, Devil’s Courthouse may have been named for the sinister aspect of the rock formation, or because, as legend holds, the devil held court in the cave that lies beneath the rock.

In Cherokee lore, this cave is the private dancing chamber and dwelling place of the slant-eyed giant, Judaculla.


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