Feds Reopening Sites On Blue Ridge Parkway
The Roanoke Mountain Campground, Rocky Knob Visitor Center, Smart View Picnic Area and other Blue Ridge Parkway attractions will reopen this year after being closed last year because of federal budget cuts, although some facilities will be open on a limited basis, the Roanoake (Va.) Times reported.
Parkway officials announced the spring openings of most venues along the 469-mile scenic drive, which stretches from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to Great Smoky Mountain National Park in North Carolina.
Roanoke Mountain Campground, which is located on the Mill Mountain spur road 1.2 miles off the parkway, will reopen May 9 as a day-use area. However, camping will no longer be allowed. Two years ago, the National Park Service announced a plan that would convert the little-used campground from camping to an open area for hiking and picnics. The campground’s Sunday evening mountain music concert series returns May 25.
Other attractions that never opened in 2013 because of the federal budget sequester will open this spring on a part-time basis. The Rocky Knob Visitors Center in Floyd County will be open only on Saturdays and Sundays starting May 24. The Smart View Picnic Area in Franklin County will open daily on June 14, more than a month after most other picnic areas open.
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