Blue Ridge Parkway Begins National Park Week with Junior Ranger Day Events

ASHEVILLE, NC (April 15, 2019) — National Park Service officials invite the public to celebrate National Park Week during the week of April 20 – 28, 2019, with multiple events across the Blue Ridge Parkway. The week opens on Junior Ranger Day, Saturday, April 20, 2019, at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center at Milepost 384 in Asheville, North Carolina, and Explore Park at Milepost 115 in Roanoke, Virginia. A variety of family-friendly activities will be available at both locations.

National Park Week is an annual celebration of National Park Service sites across the country. National Park Week activities encourage exploration of the National Park Service’s vast network of natural, cultural and recreational sites and provide opportunities to reconnect with the agency’s mission of protecting and preserving these special places.

National Park Week culminates on the Blue Ridge Parkway on Saturday, April 27, 2019 with a park-wide volunteer service day, Project Parkway, and a celebration at Peaks of Otter, Milepost 86, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

NC – Junior Ranger Day Event

What: Park stewards of all ages are invited to learn how to camp, use detective skills with historic artifacts, look inside National Park Service vehicles, become a Junior Ranger, hike a TRACK Trail, and more.

When: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Saturday, April 20, 2019

Where: Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center, Milepost 384 – Asheville, NC

Who: Parkway staff and park partners will lead activities

VA – Junior Ranger Day Event

What: Meet a ranger, play a game, discover animal adaptations, tour fire, rescue and police vehicles; and join a ranger-led hike that takes you into the world of animal life.

When: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday, April 20, 2019, including:

  • 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Ranger Games
  • 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. To the RESCUE!
  • 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. A Sorting Ceremony for Animal Lovers, a 1.5 mile moderate hike

Where: Explore Park, Milepost 115 – Roanoke, Virginia

Who: National Park Service staff with community partners from Explore Park and Salem and Roanoke law enforcement agencies

VA – Peaks of Otter National Park Week Celebration

What: Get hands on with a collection of animal pelts and replica skulls, explore the wonderful world of animal adaptations, and participate in guided hikes pointing out natural and historical features of the area.

When: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Saturday, April 27, 2019

Where: Peaks of Otter Lodge, Milepost 86 – Bedford, Virginia

Who: National Park Service staff and partners

About the Blue Ridge Parkway
The 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway connects Shenandoah National Park to the north with Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the south. The route travels the crests, ridges, and valleys of five major mountain ranges, encompassing several geographic and vegetative zones ranging from 600 to more than 6,000 feet above sea level. It provides visitors with many varied vistas of scenic Appalachian landscapes ranging from forested ridgetops and mountain slopes to rural farm lands and urban areas. The parkway offers a “ride-a-while, stop-a-while” experience that includes scenic pullouts, recreation areas, historic sites, and visitor contact stations. It is known nationally and internationally for its designed landscape as a scenic motorway.