The Blue Ridge Parkway was built in short units, numbered 1-A through 1-Z in Virginia and 2-A through 2-Z in North Carolina.  There was no section in either state with a corresponding letter of “I” or “O” due to confusion with similar-looking numbers.  Section 1-A in Virginia eventually became part of Shenandoah National Park.

Almost all Parkway historical materials (maps, photographs, and many documents, especially pertaining to construction and land acquisition) are marked with the corresponding Parkway “section” number.  This makes it relatively easy to correlate materials with their location on the land, but, to do that, it is often necessary to cross-reference “sections” with “mileposts.”  The materials below give some basic information about these and other matters.

For the 2014 Parks on the Side project, here are some helpful resources organized in such a way as to make it easy for you to navigate them in relationship to the project.

General Overviews of the Parkway & Parkway History

The two studies below, carried out by very capable scholars, will provide summary information about many of the specific Parkway locations and projects that we will be working on in developing the Unbuilt Parkway project.  They will also provide leads to primary source materials that may be relevant.  Start with these:

Understanding Parkway Places

The two resources below will assist you in identifying where things are on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

  • Blue Ridge Parkway “Linear Log”
    • This log was created by Dave Anderson and staff at BLRI (ca 2010).  The Linear Log correlates section numbers (2A, 2B, etc.) with mileposts down to the 1/10th of a mile.  Also includes road accesses and crossings and all kinds of key features.    Station numbers refer to stations (which are measurements of feet) as noted on the Parkway Land Use Maps.  Station numbering should start over at beginning of each section; sometimes it starts over within a section as well.
  • North Carolina Counties, Landmarks and Mileposts by Parkway Section

Primary Source Materials

Parkway Archives, Asheville

The largest cache of Parkway primary source materials is held at the Parkway headquarters in Asheville.  You are not expected to travel there for research, but if you are interested in doing so, please consult the finding aid below first and then make a research appointment with park curator Jackie Holt by emailing her at  Ms. Holt may also be able to provide limited assistance by email or over the phone, or may be able to scan limited numbers of specifically requested documents for mailing or emailing to you.

Driving Through Time Digitized Parkway Materials

Archival Materials from Blue Ridge Parkway / National Park Service in Denver

Other Sources for Primary Materials

There are significant primary sources related to Parkway history that are available to you from here in Chapel Hill:

Archives with Blue Ridge Parkway Materials

Secondary Works with Specific Information Relevant for Parks on the Side Sites


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