Monday, August 22, 2016

Bradford Bypass - December 2011

The US 219 Bypass around Bradford, Pennsylvania was akin to taking a trip back into the 1970s. Vintage PennDOT highway design, faded pre-1980 guide signage (and the signs have exit tabs without exit numbers) and concrete are abundant on this stretch of US 219. Bradford also has its roots as being an industrial city, and seems to have shown the usual decline of industry in the Northern United States. However, Zippo (the lighter fuel company) is still headquartered in Bradford. Here are photos I have taken of the Bradford Bypass as it looked like on December 12, 2001. The signs have since been replaced.

US 219 southbound at the PA 46 Kendall Avenue exit.
US 219 southbound at the PA 346 Foster Brook exit.
US 219 northbound at the PA 346 Elm Street exit.
US 219 northbound at the PA 46 Kendall Avenue exit.
US 219 northbound at the PA 346 Foster Brook exit.
US 219 northbound at Owens Way. The freeway used to end here as a stub, but now continues just past Owens Way.
US 219 southbound at Owens Way. The freeway used to end here as a stub.
US 219 southbound approaching the PA 346 Foster Brook exit.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 290.4 - Thunder Hill Overlook

This simple overlook is one of the most popular stops for sunrises along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Unfortunately, it was a very overcast spring morning when these photos were taken.  Across the Parkway from the overlook is a trail that leads to a local pasture and small family cemetery.


The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 289.5 - Raven Rocks Overlook

Raven Rocks overlook is one of the more popular sunset stops along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Unfortunately, I stopped here in the morning during April 2008.  The rock outcroppings here are also popular with rock climbers.


The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 296.7 - Price Lake Overlook

One of the many parks and natural areas that the Blue Ridge Parkway meanders through is Julian Price Memorial Park near milepost 297.  The 4,300 plus acre park offers hiking, fishing, canoeing, and camping among other outdoor activities.

The park is a result of a donation from the heirs of former Jefferson Standard Life executive Julian Price.  Price had purchased this land as a recreation area for his employees.  Price passed away in 1946 and his heirs donated the land to the National Park Service shortly there after.  (1)

The Price Lake Trail:

One of the many trails within Julian Price Memorial Park is the 2.7 Price Lake Trail is a loop trail around Price Lake.  The hike is rather easy and offers many amazing views of Price Lake.  I hiked the trail in April 2008.

Kayaking on Price Lake is a very popular activity.

(1) "Julian Price Memorial Park, Milepost 297.1"  Virtual Blue Ridge. (August 21, 2016)


The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 285.1 - Boone's Trace

At Mile 285, the parkway meets pioneer legend, Daniel Boone.  Boone's legendary 'Trace' became a gateway to the west through the Appalachians, and he marked some of his route nearby.  The route, which was cleared during the 1770's, is more famous in Tennessee and Kentucky; there it is more commonly known as the 'Wilderness Road.' (1)  

Local farmland borders the Parkway at Boone's Trace.

Looking North on the Parkway from Boone's Trace.

(1) Cletheroe, Joel. "Wilderness Road, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia." Historic and Named Trails and Roads in the USA and Canada. (April 4, 2003)

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 274.3 - Elk Mountain Overlook

Just north of Deep Gap sits the Elk Mountain Overlook.  One of the most popular Parkway viewpoints, the Elk Mountain Overlook offers stunning vistas of the Yadkin Valley.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 271.9 - E.B. Jeffress Park and The Cascades

E. B. Jeffress Park is a small park along the parkway that offers great views, hiking trails, and a gorgeous waterfall.  The park, which was named after the former Chairman of the North Carolina State Highway Commission, was created in 1968.  Jeffress was a strong proponent of the Parkway and was a key factor in stopping the Parkway from being a toll road. 
One of the key attractions within the park is The Cascades.  The waterfall which carries Falls Creek is easily accessible via a short hiking trail from the overlook parking lot.  The trail is not difficult and is lined with numerous hardwoods and azaleas.  Throughout the trail, there are small sign posts describing the variety of plants and wildlife that habitat the area.

Cascade and Trail Photos:

One of the many rustic footbridges found on the Cascades Trail.

This rock in Falls Creek resembles the face of a cat.

The start of The Cascades waterfall.

Falls Creek will tumble and slide down the rock face to the Piedmont below.

The views from the overlook parking lot are just as spectacular.

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 270.2 - Lewis Falls Overlook

Another view of the Yadkin Valley awaits at the Lewis Fork Overlook.  In 2006, the Conservation Trust for North Carolina donated 124 acres of land below the Lewis Fork Overlook to the National Park Service for the Parkway.  The land may be used to extend hiking trails in E. B. Jeffress Park or new campsites. (1)

(1) Sparks, Jim. "Blue Ridge Parkway given 134 Acres." Winston-Salem Journal. May 6, 2006

8mm videos from the 1960s of Virginia Interstate Ribbon Cuttings

On a very popular road hobby facebook group, a member shared links to some great historical videos of various Virginia Interstate Highway ribbon cuttings during the 1960s.  A few include North Carolina where both states opened Interstate's 85 and 95 at the same time.

US 48 will now be signed along all of Corridor H

Good News for those following the progress of Corridor H, US 48 will now be signed along the entire route from Interstate 79 in Weston to Interstate 81 in Strasburg, VA.  The US 48 signs from Bismark to Weston should go up sometime this fall.

WV House Delegate Gary G Howell announced the upcoming signage on his facebook page.