The Blue Ridge Mountains stretch 550 miles from north Georgia to southern Pennsylvania, much of it connected by the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Blue Ridge region encompasses more than 34,000 square miles of dynamic landscapes- mountains, forests, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls- in eight states along the east coast. Let our local experts be your guide to things to do in the Blue Ridge Mountains, from camping and hiking to the best Blue Ridge cabins, resorts and restaurants.
ABOUT BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS TRAVEL GUIDE
The BRMTG was created by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, the award-winning team behind the world-renowned responsible travel website Green Global Travel.
Bret grew up camping and hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia and North Carolina with his parents, and the couple both spent childhood summers on the water with their grandparents.
After becoming empty nesters, they yearned for a pristine place where they could escape the hustle and bustle of the city, commune with nature and family, and embrace a sustainable lifestyle that leaves time to appreciate the simpler things in life.
Join them and their team as they explore the region, offering expert insights on Blue Ridge travel as they search for the perfect mountain home.
FAQs ABOUT THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS
Where are the Blue Ridge Mountains?
The Blue Ridge Mountains are part of the Appalachian Mountain range. They extend 550 miles in the eastern United States, and include parts of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. The Blue Ridge region is home to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Shenandoah National Park, as well as eight national forests (including the Chattahoochee National Forest, Cherokee National Forest, Nantahala National Forest, and Pisgah National Forest).
How long is the Blue Ridge Parkway?
The scenic Blue Ridge Parkway is America’s longest linear park, stretching 469 miles from Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. The Blue Ridge Parkway starts at U.S. 441 and ends at Shenandoah’s entrance, where the name changes to Skyline Drive. Originally known as the Appalachian Scenic Highway, the road’s construction began in 1935 and ended in 1987. It has been the most visited unit of America’s National Park System for 70+ years.
Why are the Blue Ridge Mountains blue?
The distinctive color that gives the Blue Ridge Mountains their name largely comes from the forests that line its ridges (which reach elevations up to 6,684 feet). Many shrubs and trees– including oaks, poplars, and eucalyptus– emit an organic compound called isoprene. When this hydrocarbon is released into the atmosphere, it creates a distinctive lingering haze that looks blue from a distance.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Editor In Chief Bret Love grew up hiking and camping the Blue Ridge Mountains with his family. A writer & editor since 1995, he's covered travel for nearly 100 publications, including American Way, Destination Marriott, Georgia Travel Guide, National Geographic, Southbound, and Yahoo Travel. In 2010 he co-founded the award-winning ecotourism website, Green Global Travel, which is ranked among the world's top travel blogs. He loves exploring with his wife Mary and their dogs, and is currently looking for a home in the Blue Ridge region.
Though she lived the first 14 years of her life in New York, photographer/Business Manager Mary Gabbett has fond memories of spending weekends at her aunt's Blue Ridge mountain cabin. After moving to Atlanta in 1989, she spent many days hiking north Georgia, picking apples in Ellijay, and rafting the Ocoee River. In 2010 she co-founded Green Global Travel, and has since traveled to more than 40 countries on six continents. But now that she and Bret are empty nesters, she's looking forward to finding a mountain cabin of her own... just like her aunt's!
After visiting the Western North Carolina for the first time, Jonathon Engels and his wife Emma spent two years looking for a few acres of property there to establish a permaculture homestead. During that search, he explored the Blue Ridge Parkway, surrounding towns, and parks. He has taught at both Blue Ridge Community College and Surry Community College, is a member of a long-established land conservation community near the town of Dobson, volunteers at the Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention, and continues to explore the Blue Ridge, a place he now lovingly calls home.
A lifelong Georgia resident, staff writer Chelsea Millar spent many summers as a child with her grandparents in North Carolina's Pisgah National Forest. She grew interested in photography in 2006 and became entranced with capturing the beauty of the natural world. Being a freelance writer and photographer, she enjoys traveling to national and state parks, botanical gardens, and anywhere with breathtaking scenery. Chelsea has also co-built a tiny house with her fiancé, graduated from Kennesaw State, and has been writing poetry since she was 10 years old.