For visitors to Waynesville, the Blue Ridge Parkway is an amazing must-see destination. This southernmost stretch of national parkway features mountaintop views, hiking access, nearby waterfalls, and lots of wildlife viewing. With pull-off overlooks almost every mile, visitors can meander along the parkway at their own pace. Here is our favorite Blue Ridge Parkway itinerary from Waynesville, starting and ending at The Yellow House:
Head to Soco Falls via Maggie Valley (about a mile past the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance off Hwy 19). Hike to the Falls on the short, steep trail and enjoy the double waterfall. (TIP: the parking area is small and not well marked; it will be on the left after a very sharp turn.)
Backtrack about a mile on Hwy 19 to hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and head South towards Asheville. Stop at Waterrock Knob (mile marker 451). The views from the parking area are spectacular! For a short hike, take the 1.2-mile round trip to the highest point along the Parkway. Be sure to visit the restrooms here before you continue as it will be a while before you see any others on the Parkway.
Continue along the Parkway toward Asheville and take time to stop at some of the overlooks along the way. One excellent photo spot is the Cowee Mountain Overlook (mile marker 430.7). This is one of the most popular spots for photographers wanting to capture sunset views.
Continue to Devil’s Courthouse at mile marker 422.4. This massive outcropping of rock has a half-mile trail to the peak that is relatively short. It is a deceptively uneven and strenuous hike, so take your time. Upon reaching the peak, rest and enjoy some of the best panoramic views on the Parkway.
Proceed down the Parkway to Graveyard Fields (mile marker 418.8) and take either the easy short or long trails and enjoy the spectacular waterfalls. This is another one of the few places along the Parkway with restrooms.
Pisgah Inn and Mount Pisgah
Continue to the Pisgah Inn and Mount Pisgah (mile marker 408.6) and grab a cool drink and snack while enjoying the lovely views. If you want to partake in an amazing hike, head to the trailhead to Mount Pisgah. This strenuous trail is a 3-mile round trip and features excellent views of the famous Cold Mountain.
After your hike, backtrack on the parkway to mile 412.2 and take the exit for 276 towards Waynesville. Upon reaching Waynesville, enjoy a relaxing dinner before returning to the inn for the evening.
Following the Blue Ridge Parkway itinerary is better when you have a beautiful soaking tub and fireplace to enjoy at the end of the day. Book one of our luxurious suites to make the most of your visit to the area!