(Balsam, NC) – National Park Service officials announced today the southernmost 14 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway, from Milepost 455 to 469, will close effective immediately in a continuing effort to support federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and in coordination with travel restrictions in place from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Great Smoky Mountains Park.
Other sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway motor road remain accessible to the public in accordance with the latest federal, state, and local health guidance, where not otherwise closed. The park will continue to assess changing conditions in our region and work with local communities to extend or terminate closures, as appropriate to ensure the health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, partners, and local residents.
The NPS encourages people who choose to visit the Blue Ridge Parkway during this pandemic to adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors and employees. As services are limited, the NPS urges visitors to continue to practice Leave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safe and healthy.