Blue Ridge Parkway Bicycling Rules and Regulations
Be sure your bicycle is equipped with reflectors. Helmets and high-visibility clothing are recommended. Be sure to ride single file, well to the right-hand side of the road and obey the same traffic rules that apply to motor vehicles. Bicycles are not permitted on trails or walkways. Plan ahead, and be sure to take into consideration elevation changes that will require more time and, of course, more exertion.
The Blue Ridge Parkway offers bicyclists 469.1 miles of picturesque travel across Virginia and North Carolina. Ranging in elevation from 600 to 6,000 feet, the road encompasses a variety of ever-changing weather conditions, regardless of season. The Parkway was designed as a scenic leisure road for motorists. Bicyclists should be prepared for significant distances between developed areas and services that vary by season.
To ensure safe and enjoyable bicycling on day or overnight trips, planning is important. We suggest you carry:
- Plenty of water and high energy foods
- Clothing for safety and protection from adverse weather conditions
- Some form of identification
We encourage you to become familiar with Parkway resources and services before beginning your cycling trip. Parkway maps and additional information are available from Superintendent, Blue Ridge Parkway, 199 Hemphill Knob Rd, Asheville, NC 28803.
- Bicycle riders must comply with all applicable state and federal motor vehicle regulations.
- Bicycles may be ridden only on paved road surfaces and parking areas. Bicycles, including mountain bikes, may not be ridden on trails or walkways.
- The bicycle operator must exhibit a while light or reflector visible at least 500 feet to the front and a red light or reflector visible at least 200 feet to the rear during periods of low visibility, between the hours of sunset and sunrise, or while traveling through a tunnel.
- Bicycles must be ridden single file except when passing or turning left and well to the right-hand side of the road.
- Bicycle speed must be reasonable for control with regard to traffic, weather, road and light conditions.
FOR SAFE BICYCLING
- Wear a bicycle helmet.
- Be sure your bicycle is in good operating condition. Carry a spare tube and tools for minor repairs.
- Wear high visibility clothing. It sets you apart from the scenery and makes you more visible to motorists.
- Avoid the Parkway during periods of low visibility. Fog and rain may occur unpredictably. Reschedule your trip for better weather or follow lower elevation routes until weather conditions improve.
- Exercise caution when riding through tunnels. Please be sure your bicycle is equipped with the proper lights or reflectors. There are 26 tunnels in North Carolina and 1 tunnel in Virginia.
- Temperatures vary greatly along the Parkway due to different elevations. Wear your clothing in layers, if possible.
- Safe drinking water is available at all picnic areas, campgrounds, concession operations, and visitor centers. Water from streams and springs is unsafe for drinking unless you purify it.
- Make an honest evaluation of your abilities before beginning a bicycle trip on the Parkway. In some sections, you will climb as much as 1,100 feet in 3.4 miles.
- When cycling in a group, adjust your spacing to allow motor vehicles to pass safely.
- Some Parkway campgrounds and services are located too far apart for convenient cycling.
- Camping is permitted only at established campground. In some areas, U.S. Forest Service, State Park, and private campgrounds are within easy distance of the Parkway. However, many operate on a seasonal basis.
- Food and lodging services are also available along and adjacent to the Parkway. Most operate seasonally.
- To assist in planning your trip, consult the Parkway Directory.
- Carry a simple first aid kit when possible.
- Please contact a Ranger before leaving a motor vehicle parked overnight on the Parkway.