Bicycling the Blue Ridge Parkway

                              Photo by Lou Nachman

                             Photo by Lou Nachman

Alleghany County touts itself as The Heart of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Parkway construction began near Cumberland Knob in 1935 and the Mahogany Rock Overlook at milepost 235 is near the center point of this 469 mile liner park.  Of the many ways to enjoy the cool, summertime temperatures of Parkway, traveling by bicycle is one of the best.

Many riders find the Little Glade Mill Pond near milepost 230 to be a convenient parking location. This spot is approximately one mile north of Hwy. 21 and a quick drive from Winston Salem and Mooresville, NC.  From this location riders can choose a route south that climbs roughly 1000 feet over the next ten miles, passing through Doughton Park before descending 900 vertical feet into the community of Laurel Springs.  In Laurel Springs, riders can take a break at the Stations Inn to enjoy lunch and a cool drink.

For those looking for a more relaxing ride, take the Parkway north from Little Glade Mill Pond.  The elevation changes little over the next ten miles as the Parkway parallels Brush and Little Pine Creeks.  Tall trees provide a canopied ride before breaking out into rolling farmland.

Donny McCall, endurance athlete and organizer of the Get Outside Mountain Relay, frequently trains on the Parkway.  He said recently, “The Blue Ridge Parkway is a wonderful asset for outdoors enthusiasts.  It is a beautiful road that is ideal for cyclists and runners with challenging climbs that give way to some of the most breathtaking views in the country.  And the reduced speed limit (45 mph) makes me feel much safer when riding there.”

                                                                                       Photo by Lou Nachman

                                                                                      Photo by Lou Nachman

So, whether you are looking for a strenuous training ride or a leisurely cruise, the 30 mile Alleghany County stretch has something for everyone.  Visit www.authenticallyalleghany.com and download the mobile app for a complete guide of all the things offered in Alleghany County.