Julian Price Memorial Park provides exceptional High Country recreational opportunities including, beautiful streams, waterfalls, a 47 acre lake, the largest campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway and miles of trails.
On Thursday, Aug. 14, Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation CEO Carolyn Ward and Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Mark Woods welcomed visitors to a ribbon-cutting, celebrating significant upgrades to the Price Lake Loop Trail. The ribbon cutting ceremony was followed by a special ranger-led program.
As one of the most beloved sites along the Parkway, the trail around Price Lake had deteriorated due to normal wear and tear plus some bouts of severe weather. One section had become almost impassable, forcing hikers to either turn around before completing the loop or navigate a risky crossing through a stream. The $36,000 project included a new boardwalk spanning the boggy area and rebuilding and realigning much of the beginning section of the trail. The improvements are Phase I of a larger vision to increase the accessibility of the trail. Phase I improvements were funded by individual gifts from members of the Foundation’s Community of Stewards.
“Since we first erected the donor recognition board at the parking lot near the dam, we have been thrilled with the community’s response,” Ward said. “It’s a testament to the feeling of ownership people have for this outstanding part of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Because of the generosity of a few donors, this trail is here and will be here for those who follow us. What a legacy to leave our children; a place better than we found it.”
Woods stated, “I often quote the first National Park Service Director Stephen T. Mather who said ‘establishment of parks is not enough, what is needed are more people who will take the time to gain a better understanding of the important issues facing our National Parks.’ The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is reaching out to involve people and making a real difference. It’s a great partnership. I look forward to meeting those that made this project possible and those that want to be more involved with the Blue Ridge Parkway.”
About the Foundation
The Parkway charges no fees to visit its historic sites, museums, or world-class trails. Tight operating budgets and a growing backlog of unmet needs have resulted in a challenging situation for this most-visited unit of the NPS.
The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation was created in 1997 as the private fundraising partner for the Parkway.
“By building a Community of Stewards, we can help bridge the funding gap for the Parkway, Ward said. “If every person who visited the Blue Ridge Parkway gave us just $1, it would double the Parkway’s operating budget.”
“We have several thousand people who give to the Parkway every year, and everyone should thank them for their visionary support,” Ward said. “The Foundation has contributed over $5 million in support of projects and programs along the Parkway through the generosity of its Community of Stewards.”
For more information, visit brpfoundation.org.