Visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway for a Day

On Thursday, October 22, 2020 we left Nashville. We decided that visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway as a short layover before heading home from our 2 week road trip was a good option. It took us 6 1/2 hours to drive there from Nashville. We chose to stay at the Bent Mountain Lodge Bed and Breakfast because they are dog friendly and were a good half way point between Nashville and Maryland.

Our cabin had a nice fenced in patio area where we could sit outside without having to hold onto the dogs. It was a scenic and quite atmosphere around the lodge. You do have to share a refrigerator with the other guests and there is a shared grill on the patio of the main house. All in all we were happy with the accommodations.

  • The Bent Mountain Lodge Bed and Breakfast is a great place to stay while visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • The Bent Mountain Lodge Bed and Breakfast is a great place to stay while visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • The Bent Mountain Lodge Bed and Breakfast is a great place to stay while visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway

On Friday we decided to explore and hike the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our first stop was at Mabry Mill at mile post 176. As the name implies, there is an old mill here with park rangers giving cultural demonstrations. I was surprised how many people were here given the COVID pandemic. There was no social distancing at this site.

We hiked a 3 mile loop called the Smart View Trail at mile marker 154.5. The view was amazing at the end. We stopped to sit down and enjoy the peace.

  • The Smart View Trail is a great hike while visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • The Smart View Trail is a great hike while visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • The Smart View Trail is a great hike while visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • The Smart View Trail is a great hike while visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • The Smart View Trail is a great hike while visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • The Smart View Trail is a great hike while visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • The Smart View Trail is a great hike while visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway

We drove further to visit Puckett’s Cabin at mile post 190. This is the site where a midwife named Orlean Hawks Puckett resided. Even though she was a midwife to many births, she personally gave birth to and lost 24 children.

We stopped at Groundhog Meadow Overlook. There is an observation tower where you can get a great view of the mountains.

Our last stop before heading back was at Chateau Morrisette Vineyards. They were not doing tasting due to COVID, but I bought some tasty wines, a sweatshirt, and a wine glass that says “In dog years, I’ve only had one”.

We got back to the cabin, Joe grilled out some food, we had great conversation with other guests and settled in for the night ready to drive home.

Our entire journey through Alabama, the Natchez Trace Parkway, Nashville, and the Blue Ridge Parkway took us 14 days, 60 hours and nearly 2,800 miles. We met some really wonderful and welcoming people and have lasting memories. I had no preconceptions of the South but I fell in love with it. We loved it so much, in fact, that we are planning another trip this Spring 2021! Stay tuned….


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