How to Get to the Blue Ridge Parkway from Greenville

Parkway in the distance as seen from Mountains to Sea Trail - Oct, 2008
I keep getting hits from people Googling something to the effect of "how to get to the Blue Ridge Parkway from Greenville" so I thought I'd put a post up about the various ways to get there. 

The quickest and easiest is to take Hwy 25 to I26N to exit 37 and then follow the signs. It takes about an hour. 

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If you're going north on the parkway you may want to keep going past that exit to I40E and take exit 44.  That way you'll bypass the section that runs through Asheville which isn't that interesting (plus it's the only section I've ever seen anyone get pulled over for speeding on the Parkway - and yes I was the one pulled over).

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Another option is to go through Brevard via 276. That's a nicer drive but takes about an hour and a half. It puts you near the Pisgah Inn. An even nicer drive to get to this entrance would be to head up HWY 25 through Flat Rock. 

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A fourth option if you want to get to a section further south is take 276 to Hwy 11 to Hwy 176 to Hwy 215. This puts you near the Middle Prong Wilderness and Shining Rock Wilderness, not far from the Devil's Court House.

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Fall for Greenville

Fall for Greenville starts Friday and it looks better than ever. One of my very most favorite musicians, Jason Isbell, will be opening the festival. I've seen him live half a dozen times, mostly while he was with the Drive By Truckers but also once or twice with his new band, the 400 Unit, and he always puts on a killer show.

There are dozens of other entertainment options at the festival as well.

Here's a little taste of Jason performing one of his songs live:

Distance from downtown Greenville: 0 Miles.

Waterrock Knob

Waterrock Knob is one of the highest points on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's the 16th highest point east of the Mississippi. From the parking lot, it's a short but steep hike to the top. Even if you're not a hiker, it's worth the stop. Once while there I was standing above the clouds.

There are 40 peaks in the southern Appalachians over 6000 feet. There is a club designed to honor those who hike all of them.  If you're inclined to do so you can reach several of them from this location.  

If you are a hiker and you're good with navigation and don't mind serious bushwhacking, you can have quite an adventure hiking to Mount Lyn Lowery, another 6000 footer where a 50' cross has been erected. There's also an amazing homesite for sale there, which would probably be the highest residential site on the east coast. To get there, when you get to the top of Waterrock, look to your left and you will see a faint little overgrown trail. Follow that trail a couple miles to Lyn Lowry and you'll have some great views along the way, assuming you don't get lost. Even if you do, you'll still have some great views. To say the trail is overgrown is an understatement. Below is a shot of one of the clearest parts of the trail. See that light green area, that's the trail. It gets much worse and you will get turned around and you will get cut up from all the blackberry bushes you have to trudge through. I ripped my pack and my pants.

There are no printed maps of the "trail" and there are no blazes or signs. Other people have left ribbons marking the way and they're fairly accurate but the bushwhacking makes for slow going.

You can find more details and download on-line maps here.

Distance from downtown Greenville: 98 miles

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Greer Oktoberfest

See ya there:  Greer Oktoberfest

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2010    12:00-9:00pm

Entertainment for the day includes performances by the Channelheimer’s Oompah Band, Walhalla German Dancers, Dan Witucki’s Heimatland Musikanten, Al Ulle and the Dueling Slovenians, and the Foothills Oompah Band.
Traditional lederhosen and dirndl, the authentic dress, is encouraged for the event.
Festival goers should expect their mouths to melt from the array of German foods and desserts that will be served. Menu items include Bavarian white sausages, leberkaus, knackwurst, bratwursts, fresh baked pretzels, German funnel cakes, kettle korn, spaetzel, chipstix, glazed nuts, German chocolate cake, Black forest cake, and much more fantastic foods will be sold anywhere from $1 to $5. 
Not only is the Greer Station Oktoberfest centered around German themes, it is embracing local artists and celebrating their creative works. Local artists will be displaying their creative pieces all day in downtown Greer. Work on display includes everything from oil paintings, ceramics, photography, woodwork, jewelry and much more. Festival organizers are encouraging people to come and support these artists and delight in each unique piece.
The official festival beer will be the “Spaten Oktoberfest,” which is the world’s first Oktoberfest beer, created in 1872 for the Munich Oktoberfest. It will be featured at two locations within the festival – the corner of Randall and Trade Street and the corner of Victoria and Trade Street. The festival will also have Thomas Creek, Budweiser and Pepsi products.
Main Stage
12:00 - 4:00pm Channellheimer’s Oompah Band
5:00 - 9:00pm Foothills Oompah Band
Beirgarten Stage
12:00 - 3:00pm All Ulle and the Deuling Slovenians
4:00 - 5:30pm Walhalla Oktoberfest Dancers
6:00 -9:00pm Dan Witucki and Heimatland Musikanten

Distance from downtown Greenville: 12 miles

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