Blue Ridge Parkway | GROUNDHOG MOUNTAIN PICNIC AREA (MP 189)

Groundhog Mountain Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Groundhog Mountain Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Groundhog Mountain Picnic Area is typically open from mid-may until the end of the 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.

Groundhog Mountain Picnic Area is not a one-table picnic area that you find at many of the overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but it’s not a large one either. There are two dozen tables and a dozen grills spread out on a scenic hillside. There is also a modern restroom. Parking is done in a common lot, so you must carry your picnicking supplies to the tables, some of which are quite far away. All tables are taken on a first come, first served basis.

Groundhog Mountain Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Groundhog Mountain Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

In addition to the picnic area, there is an exhibit on the types of traditional fences you will still find along the Blue Ridge Parkway. An information panel tells about each type. To get to the exhibit, drive past the picnic area towards the back of the property.

Fence exhibit at Groundhog Mountain Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Fence exhibit at Groundhog Mountain Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Post and Rail Fence requires the least lumber, but the most labor.

Post and Rail Fence

Post and Rail Fence

The Buck Rail Fence is used for rugged terrain and is the least seen along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Buck Rail Fence

Buck Rail Fence

The Snake Rail Fence is easy to build, but takes a lot of lumber.

Snake Rail Fence

Snake Rail Fence

For a bird’s-eye-view of the area, you can climb to the top of an observation tower.

Observation tower at Groundhog Mountain Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Observation tower at Groundhog Mountain Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway


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Last updated on November 28, 2023
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