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Blue Ridge Parkway...Running on Empty?


    Campgrounds and visitor centers in need of repairs, opening later in the season and closing sooner than before. Rangers threatening to become an endangered species. Overlooks overgrown to the point that there is no view to enjoy.
    Sound like a park near you? In this case it's the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile ribbon of highway fringed by the Appalachian Mountains and which connects Great Smoky Mountains National Park with Shenandoah National Park.
    Typically glorious at this time of year, when the fall colors are peaking, the parkway has grown shabby and rough around the corners, thanks to congressional indifference. I've posted many times about its financial plight. What's different this time is that the story is by the News and Observer from Raleigh, North Carolina. You can read their take on the parkway's plight here.
    There are interesting sidebars by Anne Mitchell Whisnant, who wrote "Super-Scenic Motorway: A Blue Ridge Parkway History," and one by Houck Medford, executive director of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. Both are good additions to the main story and worth a read.

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