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Originally published: 2013-10-02 15:14:23
Last modified: 2013-10-02 15:15:07

Plan fall Parkway drive with shutdown in mind

Sam Calhoun / (

Fall foliage seekers can travel the Blue Ridge Parkway, the most visited unit of the National Park Service, even with a federal government shutdown. But with visitor centers and other staffed facilities set to close, careful planning is recommended for travelers driving along the 252 miles from the North Carolina High Country to the Great Smoky Mountains.

“Without the convenience of comfort stations every 20 or 30 miles, travelers will want to scope out less obvious places to take a break,” said Wit Tuttell, director of tourism marketing for the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development. “The payoff for mapping out the possibilities is discovering some of the small-town gems on the journey.”

To read the complete story, please pick up a copy of your hometown newspaper, The Avery Journal-Times, available at almost 100 locations in Newland, Banner Elk, Crossnore, Spruce Pine and Roan Mountain, Tenn. To subscribe to The Avery Journal-Times, please call (828) 733-0401 or click to