While exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway, RV travelers can enjoy learning about and listening to regional mountain music at the Blue Ridge Music Center in the Southern Highlands of Virginia. Exhibits in the indoor interpretive center feature the history of recorded American music and the heritage of mountain music, told through a rich collection of artifacts, recordings and photographs. You can even strum a dulcimer on display. Well-versed in the local music and instruments, the staff is happy to answer visitors’ questions.
During the summer, the center celebrates Blue Ridge music and musicians with mid-day jam sessions and Saturday concerts. Visitors can pull up one of the rocking chairs and enjoy free music performances Sunday through Friday in the breezeway, from noon to 3 p.m.
Held in the shadow of Fishers Peak, the Summer Concert Series runs from June to mid-September. (Admission prices vary.) The variety of music selections include blues, gospel, country, bluegrass and more. Patrons are welcome to bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnics into the amphitheater.
While at the Blue Ridge Music Center, visitors can also explore the natural setting along Chestnut Creek and two hiking trails, rich with wildflowers and birdlife. The High Meadow Trail leads hikers through a hayfield and wetland. Less than 3 miles roundtrip, the trail is rated easy.
The 2 ¼-mile Fisher Peak Loop zigzags up the peak’s slope through a variety of vegetation. Those who hike the trail in May get to see a dazzling display of azaleas, mountain laurel and Catawba rhododendron in bloom. At higher elevations, a forest of oak, poplar, maple and sourwood trees shade the trail. Its difficulty rating is moderate.
The Visitor Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, May through October, and during most evening concerts.
How to Get to Blue Ridge Music Center, Milepost 213, on the Blue Ridge Parkway from Denver, Colorado:
To start at the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, take Interstate 70 east to St. Louis, take Interstate 64 east to Waynesboro, VA, and continue east 3 miles to the parkway entrance. Drive south on the parkway to milepost 213.
To start at the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, take Interstate 70 east to St. Louis, Interstate 64 east to Lexington, KY, Interstate 75 south to Knoxville, TN, Interstate 40 east to Kodak, TN, and Tennessee State Hwy. 60 to Gatlinburg, TN and across the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the parkway entrance. Drive north on the parkway to milepost 213.
Subscribe and Comment
Did you enjoy this article? Receive email alerts when new articles are available. Just click on the Subscribe button at the top.
Please leave your comment below. If you’d like a response, send an email by clicking the Email box above the article.