One of the most best overlooks I've found on the Blue Ridge Parkway is at mile #302.8 just north of the Linn Cove Viaduct and Grandfather Mountain. It's one of those overlooks that's easy to drive by, because you can't immediately see anything but a parking area. But take the short, moderately steep 1/2 mile trail, and you'll be rewarded with magnificent views of the viaduct, Grandfather Mountain and layers of mountain ridges to the south and east. After you get to the wooden platform seen above, continue climbing another half mile and you'll be rewarded with even more breathtaking views. The trail can be slick and muddy after a rain - wear old shoes. Because of the narrowness of the path, pets are not allowed.
The trail to the lookout is part of the 13.5 mile Tanawha Trail which parallels the parkway and leads to Price Lake (Mile 297) to the north and Beacon Heights (Mile 305) to the south. Tanawha is the Cherokee word for "great hawk or eagle" -- which if fitting given the soaring views of the mountains it offers. Click here for an interactive map of the trail.
Above is a beautiful bridge found on the trail to Rough Ridge, one of many along the Tanawha Trail. Perhaps the best known of these graceful arched bridges is Boone Fork Bridge a few miles to the north on the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile 300.