Blue Ridge Parkway | CUMBERLAND KNOB PICNIC AREA (217.5)

Cumberland Knob Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Cumberland Knob Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Cumberland Knob Picnic Area is open from early May until the end of October. The exact dates of operation change each year, so before heading out on a picnic, be sure to get the latest schedule on the National Park Service’s official Operating Hours and Seasons web page for the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The picnic area is comprised of two sections. One is located in a wooded area and the other is more out in the open and next to a large field. A modern restroom facility is located in a building constructed in 1941 that once served as a sandwich shop.

1941 sandwich shop still stands today as a restroom and information station at the Cumberland Knob Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

1941 sandwich shop still stands today as a restroom and information station at the Cumberland Knob Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The main road through Cumberland Knob Recreation Area is C-Shaped, exiting the Blue Ridge Parkway at one spot on entering back onto the Parkway farther down the road (it is one way). There is a smaller loop road that runs through the forest where the wooded picnic area is located. Just after making the turnoff from the Parkway into the picnic area is a road on your left marked DO NOT ENTER. This is the exit end of smaller loop. Continue straight and you will come to a fork. Saying straight / left takes you to the wooded picnic area loop, while taking a right leads to the main section of the Cumberland Knob Recreation Area where you can access the picnic area next to the field, the restroom, and two hiking trails. This is also where you will find the Moxley Cemetery.

There are two parking lots on the main road, though they are very close together, separated only by a small median. The second lot has RV-sized parking spaces. Picnic tables and grills are located on either side of the parking lots, with the closest and most apparent being on the outskirts of the forest on the right side of the parking lots. However, while these are the easiest to get to, they aren’t all that inviting.

Picnic tables in the woods near the main parking lot of the Cumberland Knob Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Picnic tables in the woods near the main parking lot of the Cumberland Knob Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

If it is a sunny day and not too hot, I recommend the open picnic area next to the large field, which is up a hill on the left side of the parking area—you can’t see it from the road. If you parked in the first lot, follow the signs to the Comfort Station. If you are in the second parking lot, look for paved path that leads up the hill and through the woods. Regardless of which route you take, you’ll end up at the field. The picnic tables are quite a ways from the parking lot, so you have a fairly decent haul to get all of your supplies to the tables.

At the field you will find a half dozen picnic tables, each with its own grill. The tables are set into the ground, so you can’t push them together. Large groups would have to sit separately, but everyone would still be within eyesight of each other. All tables are taken on a first come, first served basis.

Cumberland Knob Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Cumberland Knob Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Tables border a large activity field at the Cumberland Knob Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Tables border a large activity field at the Cumberland Knob Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The wooded picnic area is located along its own loop road. Tables and grills are spread out along the loop, and parking is done at the curb. Like with the first section, you must carry your supplies to the tables, though they aren’t quite as far away. This is a good spot to picnic on the hotter days during the summer.

Picnic tables in the wooded section of the Cumberland Knob Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Picnic tables in the wooded section of the Cumberland Knob Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Picnic tables in the wooded section of the Cumberland Knob Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Picnic tables in the wooded section of the Cumberland Knob Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Back to the Top | Picnic Areas


With a few exceptions, use of any photograph on the National Park Planner website requires a paid Royalty Free Editorial Use License or Commercial Use License. See the Photo Usage page for details.
Last updated on November 28, 2023
Share this article