The Blue Ridge Parkway
Alleghany…The Heart of the Blue Ridge Parkway
For more than 85 years, the Parkway has been a part of the daily lives of residents of Alleghany County and Sparta, NC. Today, Sparta is a bustling small town and the hub of this rural community. It is surrounded by the Alleghany countryside, much of it still in pasture, fields, Christmas tree and pumpkin farms, and woodland that reflect the same scenic beauty for which the Parkway is so well known. Starting at Milepost 217, Alleghany County holds some of the most beautiful views, hiking trails and historic sites on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Start your adventure here.
Cumberland Knob– Here the mixture of lush woodlands and open fields, housing a variety of birds and other wildlife, is ideal for leisurely walks or a more demanding hike to nearby Gully Creek. Enjoy a packed snack or lunch at a picnic area.
Fox Hunters Paradise -The crest of High Piney Spur seen from this overlook is well known by people in the area. There are picnic tables and a relaxing 0.2-mile trail to a beautiful view of the countryside.
Little Glade Mill Pond and Trail -The scenery at this overlook is spectacular. The calm pond draws the reflection of the colorful trees. This is a wonderful place for a picnic and there is a 0.4-mile loop trail around the pond.
Milepost 232.5-236.9 – Overlooks
Stone Mountain – The view into the rolling foothills is inspiring. In the distance stands a large domed-shaped mountain of white granite rock, which is Stone Mountain.
Bullhead Overlook – The slopes of the mountains from this overlook lead your eyes down into the mountain ranges below. Bull Head Mountain’s profile is unique among the other mountains in the area.
Mahogany Rock – This overlook offers a view of the rolling land of Virginia to the right and the distinctive mountainous land of North Carolina to the left.
Devils Garden – There is a narrow view down into the lowlands due to the mountainous slopes on each side of the overlook.
Air Bellows – This beautiful vista is designated as the Crest of the Blue Ridge. Air Bellows gets its name from the strong winds that travel through the area, especially during winter.
Mileposts 238.5-241 – Brinegar Cabin and Doughton Park
Brinegar Cabin was built around 1880 and is an authentic mountain home where visitors may experience craft demonstrations and a glimpse of mountain life.
Doughton Park has open meadows, wildlife, historic locations, and colorful flowers in late spring. Diverse hiking options make Doughton Park a must-experience destination. It has one of the Parkway’s larger campgrounds, a popular picnic area and more than 30 miles of hiking trails that access forested slopes, streams, and
backcountry in Basin Cove. The Cove is popular for fly-fishing, horseback riding and camping. Also visit the nearby Northwest Trading Post or enjoy a meal at the historic Bluffs Restaurant – open seasonally.