We drove from Front Royal, Va to Bedford, Va on the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway and it took us about 9 hours to get to Bedford. That was with about five or six stops. Once near Bedford, we took Rt. 460 into Roanoke. The speed limit on BRP is 35mph and there are spots where it's a lot slower. In October there may be overlooks that you have to wait to enter as crowds may be heavy. If you get to be in a hurry, or get bored of the drive, you can jump on I-81 at several spots along the BRP.
I can't comment on Roanoke to Asheville.
Thanks so much for the information.
I think Roanoke to Asheville in one day is a very aggressive plan. I've made it to Boone from near Roanoke in a very long day, taking time to stop at Mabry Mill (which I highly recommend). If you don't like long car trips you will be tired of the BRP before getting to Asheville.
Roanoke to Asheville on the BRP would be at least a 2 day drive in my opinion. I can't imagine Baltimore to Roanoke in one day via the parkway or Skyline drive. You would be too worn out to enjoy it. Speed limits are mostly 45mph on the parkway although some areas are 35. You may get behind slower moving vehicles or bicycles that could slow you down more. You'll also find that you want to pull over at various overlooks and take in the views, stop in at a visitor center or two, or maybe get out and walk a bit.
I'd consider Baltimore to Asheville via Skyline and the BRP minimum a 4 day drive.
Keep an eye on the govt. shut down for closure of govt. parks, Forests, and roads.
Yes, hoping things will be long resolved by the time of the original poster's trip, but as of today, the BRP is technically shut down - no services, restrooms, visitor's centers, or attractions open such as Peaks of Otter, Mabry Mill, etc. You can still drive on it, but keep in mind there are long stretches with no exits and no services at all.
We've made about 10 trips between just north of Baltimore and Hendersonville, NC. It's a 2 day trip if you overnight in Roanoke and drive most of it on I81. That would allow some time for taking in a section of the BRP each day. You can choose different ones in each direction. You can also see some beautiful sections of the BRP near Asheville - both heading North and South - on day trips. For some ideas, check out
www.romanticasheville.com We love the Parkway, but it is not the way to make time on a trip. Enjoy what you can!
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