Blue Ridge Parkway | BRINEGAR CABIN (MP 238.5)

Brinegar Cabin and out building

Brinegar Cabin and out building

View: None
Trails: Bluff Mountain Trail, Mountains to Sea Trail, Cedar Ridge Trail
Picnic Tables: 3

Martin Brinegar purchased this farm in 1876. He married Caroline Joines two years later, and they lived in a cabin that came with the farm (no longer in existence). Brinegar built the cabin standing today around 1855. Three of their four children were born in the original cabin, and a fourth child, which died in infancy, was born in the new cabin. The Brinegars lived on the farm until 1935, though Martin had died ten years earlier from pneumonia. The state of North Carolina purchased the property for the new Blue Ridge Parkway. Caroline was given a lifetime lease, but chose to live with her daughter once the Parkway became to noisy.

The property consists of a cabin, a shed, and a spring house, which is where perishable goods were stored. The cabin itself is typically open from late May through October from 10 AM to 5 PM and staffed by knowledgeable park volunteers or Rangers who can answer your questions.¬†Only the bottom floor is open, and while furnished, other than stepping inside and scanning the room, there’s not much to see that will take up your time. If the cabin is closed, a visit to the site shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. If it is open and staffed, you might spend a half hour, maybe more if you strike up a conversation with whoever is manning the cabin. To get the current schedule, be sure to visit the National Park Service’s official Operating Hours and Seasons web page for the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I would not call any of the buildings readily handicap accessible because you must walk / roll down a very steep hill to get to them. There is no ramp into the cabin. The other buildings are not open, so other than peering inside (they are empty), you won’t be missing out on much if you don’t go farther down the path to see them. There are also three picnic tables at this stop, but they are also at the bottom of the steep hill.

The Brinegar Cabin is a popular attraction, yet there are only about fifteen parking spaces. The first time I stopped for a visit I could not get a parking spot, so I went to see a few other sites on the Blue Ridge Parkway and then came back later, luckily finding a spot this time around. Also, there is no room to maneuver a large RV or trailer. In fact, a sign at the entrance states that no such vehicles are allowed.

In addition to the cabin and out buildings, you can access three hiking trails: The Mountains to Sea Trail, the Bluff Mountain Trail, and the Cedar Ridge Trail. The Mountains to Sea Trail (abbreviated MST on trail signs) is a national trail that runs from Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the North Carolina Outer Banks on the Atlantic Ocean.

The Bluff Mountain Trail (BMT on the trail signs) starts at the cabin and ends at the Basin Cove Overlook, a 7.5-mile one-way trek.

The Cedar Ridge Trail also starts at the Brinegar Cabin. This 4.4-mile strenuous trail descends 2,000 feet to the Grassy Gap Fire Road.

For more information about these and other trails in the area, visit the Doughton Park Hiking Trails web page.

Brinegar Cabin

Brinegar Cabin

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Last updated on November 20, 2020
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