More than 3 million tourists went to the Blue Ridge Parkway during the scenic road's golden anniversary in September, the most visits recorded in one month and well on the way to an annual record.
"I think September's all-time monthly record indicates the tremendous interest in the Parkway's golden anniversary observance that exists throughout the nation," Superintendent Gary Everhardt said.
Festivities commemorating the start of construction of the 470-mile highway in 1935 generated more than 14,000 requests for information in August, Everhardt said. The more than 3 million actual visits was 36 percent above last September and ahead of the 2.6 million record of October 1981.
The Blue Ridge vistas may attract more people than ever for the year. Last month's tourists brought the total for 1985 to nearly 16 million, more than 12 percent above the same period last year when the record of 19.2 million visits was set.
"Since October normally is one of our leading months in terms of visits, a new annual record seems practically assured," Everhardt said. "At the present rate of increase over last year, we would exceed 21 million visits by the end of December."