Buena Vista to the Parkway Not for Wimps Special

The ride from Buena Vista up to the Blue Ridge Parkway is challenging- and it's the gateway to some of the most beautiful. Calmest biking in the region. Somehow get yourself to Buena Vista, Gateway to the Parkway- you'll be glad you did!

Mile Markers

Buena Vista to Parkway

  • 0.0 Junction of US 60 East and Highway 501 South, Buena Vista. Head east on US 60 For the first mile or so the grade is gentle, the neighborhood residential. The route climbs almost imperceptibly. Just as you pull out of Buena Vista past a restaurant and motel or two, things change rapidly.

  • 0.9 Buena Vista Visitors Center and several industries on your left.

  • 1.0 Small bridge over stream. Take some full breaths, the next 3+ miles is all up. There is some truck traffic, typically pushing fast at the beginning of the climb up, but descending slowly as they come down. Be alert and keep right, but don't let the traffic and climb discourage you. Reaching the top will give you lots of satisfaction. The first couple of miles you won't see much... the mountain is in front and the valley is directly behind you. Then the route turns northward in a sweeping U and climbs along the slope of the ridge, giving you a few quick glimpses of the Valley.

  • 3.2 Small gravel side road goes off to the right towards the Lynchburg Reservoir.

  • 3.4 Sharp dangerous bend around to the right across from a pullout across the road on your left. You'll spot your first views of the Valley from time to time over the next mile.

  • 4.25 Blue Ridge Parkway Sign. Take a deep breath, it's only .2 mile to the Parkway, just around the curve.

  • 4.45 Entry road to Blue Ridge Parkway at Amherst-Rockbridge County line. Take a sharp left from middle lane onto entry road.

  • 4.65 Blue Ridge Parkway T-junction. A few hints on the stretches immediately north and south of this junction (with mileage recalibrated from this starting point).

North on Parkway

  • 0.6 Chimney Rock Overlook on left.

  • 0.7 - 0.9 Nice views out over Buena Vista, Lexington (with VMI most noticeable) and I-64.

  • 1.05 White Oaks Over look on Right.

  • 1.25 Gravel Road crosse Parkway.

  • 1.5 Mileage marker 44 post.

  • 1.7 Gorgeous view north and West of Shenandoah Valley.

  • 2.5 Mileage marker 43 post.

  • 2.7 Begin 2-3 mile descent into Irish Creek Gap. You can go as far as you wish, even another 18 miles up to Highway 56 with a return via US 11.

South on the Parkway

  • 0.2 Buena Vista Overlook on right. 0.4 Nice views off to the west of Lexington.

  • 0.5 Mileage marker 46 post.

You can also head south to your heart's content. Otter Creek has a small restaurant and rest area and is a pleasant sojourn.