Blue Ridge Parkway | JULIAN PRICE PARK PICNIC AREA (MP 296.4)

Picnic tables along Sims Creek at Julian Price Park Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Picnic tables along Sims Creek at Julian Price Park Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The road through Julian Price Park Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway is sandwiched between Boone Fork and Sims Creek. It is the most level and most easily accessible picnic area on the Parkway, and since most of the picnic tables are situated along the creeks, it is also the most beautiful. Some of the tables are even on the other sides of the creeks, and you must cross on stepping stones to reach them. In one location along Sims Creek, I couldn’t find any stones or a bridge, so it looks like you must wade across the creek (which is very shallow) to get to the tables.

Use stepping stones to reach tables on the other side of Boone Fork at Julian Price Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Use stepping stones to reach tables on the other side of Boone Fork at Julian Price Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Julian Price Park Picnic Area is open year-round. All tables are taken on a first come, first served basis. You must carry your supplies to the tables from common parking lots. Tables range from being right next to the parking area to perhaps 50 yards away. Grills are at most tables or groupings of tables. Modern restrooms are available during the spring, summer, and fall. They are closed in the winter.

Many of the picnic tables are brand new and have concrete tops and thick planks of wood for benches. The older tables are also made of concrete. Since none are grouped together, and they are way too heavy to move, Julian Price Park Picnic Area is ill-suited for group picnicking. There are no pavilions for group picnics either.

New picnic table at Julian Price Park Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

New picnic table at Julian Price Park Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

This is not a heavily wooded picnic area. There are plenty of tables out in the open—perfect for the cooler days—and many in the lightly shaded areas along the creek. Some areas have level fields, which makes this a great park to have a family picnic. When not eating, kids can play Frisbee or kick a soccer ball around, or they can play in the creek.

Tables in the sunshine at Julian Price Park Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Tables in the sunshine at Julian Price Park Picnic Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway

For those interested in hiking, a short connector trail leads to the Boone Fork Trail, a 5.5-mile loop that follows Boone Fork and Bee Tree Creek. Park in the second parking lot (first on your right) for the closest access to the connector trail.


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Last updated on November 28, 2023
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