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Scenic Drives

There are more than 2,500 miles designated as scenic byways in Virginia, many of which are located within the Roanoke Region. The regions highlighted here offer a very small sample of the wonderful variety you'll find on these scenic and historic roads. Download a Regional Scenic Road Map.

Blue Ridge Parkway
Known as "America's Favorite Drive," the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway meanders from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Mileposts, beginning with zero at the northern terminus and ending with 469 at the southern end, dot the parkway and serve as landmarks for travelers.
The parkway follows the Appalachian Mountain chain and provides some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, ranging from 650 to 6,000 feet in elevation. Scenic overlooks, historic structures, walking trails and waterfalls are just some of the highlights along the parkway. Roanoke is located at approximately Milepost 120.

Alleghany Highlands 
Scenic Route 39 carries you up steep mountains and along deep gorges. You'll come upon the Virginia Horse Center and Goshen Pass, then you can enter the George Washington National Forest and pretty soon, you've entered the town of Warm Springs. As you continue on Route 39 toward the West Virginia border, you'll pass the Hidden Valley and Blowing Springs recreation areas, with opportunities for camping, hiking and fishing.

Southern Highlands
A typical byway drive in Southwest Virginia would be Route 52 north out of Wytheville. You can stop at Big Walker Mountain Lookout for a breathtaking view. Then follow Route 42 southwest to Route 16. Going south will take you to Mount Rogers. North on Route 16 takes you toward Tazewell and Burke’s Garden.

Shenandoah Valley
In 1862, Stonewall Jackson drove the Federals from the Shenandoah after a brilliant campaign. Follow the signs from Winchester through the Valley to Roanoke.

Pick up a copy of Virginia's Backroads Gazetteer and explore these roads:

  • Craig County:   Routes 311, 621, 42, 615, 658, 18, 617, Forest Service Road 176 & 179
  • Alleghany County:  Dolly Anne Hollow, Lime Kiln Road, Highland Scneic Tour
  • Botetourt County:  Blue Ridge Parkway and Routes 43, 615, 621, 606
  • Franklin County:  Blue Ridge Parkway and Routes 602, 640, 748, & 623
  • Giles County: Routes 42, 635, 61, & 40
  • Montgomery County: Routes 624, 785, & 723
  • Floyd County: Blue Ridge Parkway and Route 8

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