Beacon Heights Overlook

About Beacon Heights Overlook

Named by A.M. Huger in the 1890s, Beacon Heights features a view-platform of bare quartzite. The trailhead at this parking area crosses a small road and then heads up the knob to Beacon Heights. The trail quickly forks to the left as the Tanawha Trail and represents the start point of this 13 mile trail to Price Park. Continuing to the right, however, will lead you on the ascent to the top of Beacon Heights with is 1400 ft from the base parking area. Table Rock, Hawksbill, Grandmother and Grandfather Mountain all can be viewed from the site at the top of Beacon Heights.

At the northern end of the overlook is a kiosk introducing the Central Section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The content of this kiosk is below.

Beacon Heights Kiosk Content

Blue Ridge Parkway :: The Mountain Crest Road Through the Southern Highlands

Linking the Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Parks the Blue Ridge Parkway is among the world’s most famous scenic drives. Forested slopes, dramatic vistas, rural mountain farms and abundant wildlife await those who drive along this mountaintop highway.

The Parkway, unlike most roads, is not designed for high speed travel. It was built for unhurried touring. For a more memorable trip take time to stop at overlooks, explore park trails and visit some of the many attractions developed for your enjoyment.

{Photo of Parkway Construction} This photograph taken at MP 245 in September 1936 shows drilling operations along the right of way. Construction progressed steadily between 1935 and the outbreak of World War II when work was temporarily halted.

Parkway Statistics

Total Distance: 469.1 miles, 782 km

Maximum Speed Limit: 45mph, 75 kmph

Minimum Non-Stop Driving Time: Approx 16 hours

Highest Elevation: 6,053 ft, 1,844 m above sea level at milepost 434

Lowest Elevation: 668ft, 204m above sea level at milepost 63.6

Year Construction Started: 1935

Year Construction Completed: 1987

{Photo of Linn Cove Viaduct} Erection of the Linn Cove Viaduct on Grandfather Mountain involved engineering techniques which did not exist when the Parkway project began. This method of construction, which uses pre-cast concrete, causes almost no environmental damage.

{Photo of rock construction} Most stonework was done by highly skilled Italian and Spanish masons, this photograph shows construction of the Culvert at milepost 225.5.