There is more to Bluffs than just great food
The Bluffs experience doesn't end when you leave the restaurant. At 6,300 acres, Doughton Park is the largest recreation area along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Here you will find 30 miles of trails, two historic cabins, overlooks, a picnic area, campground, and more. Come explore!
Visitor Center & Park Store
In the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center next door to The Bluffs Restaurant, visitors can find restrooms, maps, and information about the park, trails, and local attractions. For a limited time, get the exclusive Destination Doughton Passport® cancellation stamp, and the Limited Edition Doughton Park Passport® Single Sticker – only at the Doughton Park gift shop! Browse the store for Doughton- and Parkway-related keepsakes, books, apparel, toys and more. Operated by nonprofit park partner America’s National Parks, your purchases benefit the park.
Doughton Park Picnic Area
Located at milepost 241.1, Doughton Park Picnic Area is a picturesque place to enjoy a meal and views of meadows and mountains. The picnic area features 56 sites and a comfort station.
At milepost 238.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Brinegar Cabin was built in the 1880s by Martin and Caroline Brinegar. The landscape provides a view of middle class Appalachian farming and family life from 1885 to 1935, interpreting activities such as loom weaving and traditional subsistence agriculture. Demonstrations are typically given during weekends in the summer by rangers and volunteers.
From Wildcat Rocks Overlook, Caudill Cabin appears to be a small speck of civilization in a vast wilderness. The cabin of was home to Martin and Janie Caudill and their 14 children. The one-room cabin was one of the few structures left standing after the flood of 1916 ravaged the Basic Cove community. Today, the hikers can visit the cabin via the Basin Creek Trail, an 8.2-mile round-trip hike with multiple water crossings.
Doughton Park Campground
Located at Milepost 239.2, Doughton Park Campground is nestled in a landscape of mountains and open meadows. The campground features more than100 campsites, including spots for RVs. Amenities include picnic tables, campfire rings, grills, flush toilets, drinking water, and an amphitheater. Most sites are available on a first-come, first serve basis, but 25 can be reserved in advance at recreation.gov. Primitive backcountry camping is also available by free permit at the campground office.
Wildcat Rocks Overlook
Wildcat Rocks Overlook, with its long-range views over Basin Creek Cove, is located near the old Bluffs Lodge just across the Parkway from The Bluffs Restaurant at milepost 241.
This idyllic, family-owned campground lies 100 yards off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Enjoy the amazing Blue Ridge weather and share the campground atmosphere. From old-time music sessions, to potlucks, or a quick hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, campers have been taking advantage of all the mountains have to offer at Miller’s Camping for more than 53 years.
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail extends 1,200 miles across North Carolina from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains to Jockey’s Ridge on the Outer Banks. This epic trail passes by the front doors of the restaurant and Brinegar Cabin as it crosses the state.
Blue Ridge Music Center
The Blue Ridge Music Center, north of Doughton Park at milepost 213 in Galax, Va., celebrates the music and musicians of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Music Center highlights bluegrass, old-time, folk, Americana, country blues, and gospel music through the onsite Roots of American Music Museum, a summer concert series, free Midday Mountain Music sessions and more.
Stone Mountain State Park
Stone Mountain State Park is located in Alleghany and Wilkes counties, 60 miles northwest of Winston-Salem. The park is home to the 600-foot granite dome designated a National Natural Landmark, and the historic Hutchinson Homestead, a restored mid-19th-century farm. The park offers nearly all types of outdoor activity to experience a high country landscape adorned with beautiful waterfalls, winding creeks, and bountiful trout streams.
Doughton Park Recreation area contains 30 miles of hiking trails ranging from the 2-mile Fodder Stack Trail to the 8.2.-mile Basin Creek Trail which must be accessed from Longbottom Road. Horseback riding is allowed on the Grassy Gap Fire Road.
Grassy Gap Cemetery
Grassy Gap Cemetery is visible from the Parkway near milepost 244.5. There are at least 51 cemeteries along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and this is one of the largest in the park with at least 65 graves. The earliest burial date is 1875 and the latest is 2000.
Alligator Back Overlook
Located at milepost 242.4, the overlook was named for the series of peaked mountains that resemble an alligator's back. Pine trees dip down into the valley creating a long view. Step out onto the small observation deck to read the wayside and learn about predators in the park.
Town of Sparta
This charming town lies within the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, a region rich in history, culture, crafts, music, and more. Spart offers many leisure activities for visitors to enjoy. From art galleries and live music to nearby outdoor adventures, such as Stone Mountain and Grayson Highlands state parks.
A Hike to Caudill Cabin
The historical cabin is nestled 1,000 feet below Wildcat Rock Overlook in Basin Creek Cove, and is most easily accessed from the south via Grassy Gap Fire Road leading to the Basin Creek Trail. Leading the hike was Lenny Caudill, whose ancestor, Martin Caudill, built and resided in the cabin in the 1890s. Part of the once-thriving Basin Cove community, this cabin was one of the few structures that withstood the devastating 1916 flood. Stacked stone chimneys along the trail mark the sites of former homesteads along the way.