Info for RVers...

Click pic to go Home
...from a fulltime RVer
Virginia's Explore Park Blue Ridge Parkway Trip
June - July, 2007

Go to Malia's Miles home

Parkway Pages

Parkway Index

(heading north)

Page 1 (MPs 400s)
Smokemont Campground
  Waterrock Knob
  Mount Pisgah CG

Page 2 (MPs 390-340)
  Asheville, NC
     Asheville KOA East
     Biltmore Estate
     Chimney Rock
  Craggy Gardens
  Crabtree Meadows CG

Page 3 (MPs 316-304)
  Linville Falls CG
  Grandfather CG
  Grandfather Mountain

  Linn Cove Viaduct

Page 4 (MPs 297-294)
  Julian Price CG
  Moses Cone Park

Page 5 (MP 292 exit)
  KOA Boone
  Village of Blowing Rock
  Blowing Rock Attraction
  Mast General Store

Page 6 (MPs 291-190)
  West Jefferson
  Church of the Frescoes
  Virginia Creeper Trail

Page 7 (MPs 217-176)
  Puckett Cabin
  Meadows of Dan CG
  Mabry Mill
  Mayberry Campground
  Mount Airy
  Pilot Mt. State Park

Page 8 (MPs 169-61)
  Rocky Knob CG
  Roanoke Mountain CG
  Virginia's Explore Park
  Peaks of Otter CG
  Otter Creek CG

Page 9 (MP 62)
  KOA Natural Bridge
  Jellystone Natural Bridge
  Natural Bridge

Page 10 (MPs 45-0)
  Chimney Rock
  20 Minute Cliff
  Humpback Rocks

  Shenandoah NP
(MP 0!)

North Carolina Index

Virginia Index


This park is located off Milepost 115 and has room for RV parking at the Visitor's Center. We stayed at nearby Roanoke Mountain Campground to explore this attraction. The center itself is large and comfortable with a sitting area where you can relax before, during and after your adventures in the park. Although the paths are mostly shaded and quite beautiful, my mother never could have made it to each exhibit if she had to walk it. She was very grateful for the staff who picked us up in golf carts and took us around whenever we were ready to go on to the next feature. She remarked that far too few places take "us old folks" into consideration and she was very impressed - not only with the park but with the friendly and dedicated people who made it possible for her to see it all.
Go to Explore Park's website for more info

Virginia’s Explore Park

(800) 842-9163

The first stop was the 17th Century Totero Village. These people and their woodland settlement were here in 1671 when English explorers arrived. It was very interesting to see and hear how they lived and thrived long before setting sight on white settlers.
Next stop - the 1750's where you'll find a recreation of Ephraim Vause's Fort. He and his family raised horses and cattle, cultivated wheat and built a grist mill on 620 acres on Meadow Creek. Following an Indian attack in 1755, he built a fort around his house and cabins, but in 1756 was dispossessed by a combined force of Canadians and Indians.
We were intriqued by Eddie Goode's demonstrations of life during this time period. His enthusiasm and knowledge made this stop particularly interesting. He started as a volunteer in 1994 and built this fort himself with only the help of a couple of buddies. He started harvesting timber in the winter of 2002 and it went under roof in May, 2004. He said he was inspired by his own interest in local history and wanted to clear up some common misperceptions. Since Virginia was a British colony for 169 years before independence in 1776, he remarked "We don't give enough credit to the settlers; we thought they were far cruder than they were....they weren't out here rubbing sticks together." He then proceeded to show us how they did live, light fires, load muskets, and where the phrase "lock, stock & barrel" came from. He thoroughly researched Mr. Vause and based the fort on fact as much as possible.

We met Kimberly here knitting beside the fireplace and really enjoyed this tour of the Hofauger Farmstead, an original and authentic structure built in 1837.
There are other outbuildings original to the house as well as an heirloom garden where veggies and herbs common to the period are grown.
We really enjoyed sitting on the front porch being treated to a Dulcimer concert and just soaking in the surroundings.
We got a kick out of meeting Miss Rachel in the Kemp's Ford School, a one room structure moved to the park from Franklin County's Blackwater River. It shows school life in the 19th century when children attended school only when they were not needed on the family farm.
Here she shows a not-so-willing young boy how teachers got your attention back then, either with a switch or the paddle. Besides arithmetic lessons, a timeless blackboard message reminded, "You are now becoming what you are going to be."

From Blue Ridge Parkway: Milepost 115; halfway between U.S. 220 and SR 24 Parkway entrances; 7 miles from downtown Roanoke. RV Parking available. Open from the 1st Wednesday in April through the 3rd Sunday in November. Wed-Sat open from 10 am to 5 pm; Sunday from noon to 5 pm.
Click arrow to return to the Parkway
Copyright 2005-2007 Malia's Miles - all rights reserved