Can You Fly a Drone on The Blue Ridge Parkway?

Can You Fly a Drone on The Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway, with its breathtaking vistas and scenic beauty, has undoubtedly sparked your curiosity about capturing these mesmerizing landscapes with a drone.

But before you launch your uncrewed aircraft into the sky, knowing the rules and regulations governing drone flights in this pristine region is essential.

So, can you fly a drone on the Blue Ridge Parkway?

No, flying a drone on The Blue Ridge Parkway is not allowed. The National Park Service strictly prohibits the launching, landing, or operating of uncrewed aircraft within the park’s boundaries. 

So, while the allure of capturing aerial vistas might be tempting, it’s essential to respect these guidelines to preserve the park’s natural beauty and protect wildlife.

Instead, consider exploring nearby locations where drone flights are permitted, and immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery while adhering to drone laws.

In this article, we’ll delve into the ins and outs of flying a drone on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

From permissions and restrictions to the best nearby locations for aerial photography, we’ve got you covered. Let’s navigate the skies responsibly and uncover the wonders that await!


  • Drone flying is strictly prohibited on Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • The National Park Service oversees drone laws.
  • Strict rules protect the parkway’s scenic beauty.
  • Find nearby areas for legal drone flying.
  • Adhere to local regulations and restrictions.
  • Discover stunning aerial views while preserving the environment.

Can You Fly a Drone on The Blue Ridge Parkway?

No, you cannot fly a drone on the Blue Ridge Parkway. If there is so much crucial that you want to fly your drone in Blue Ridge Parkway, then you will have to meet some conditions and regulations.


The Blue Ridge Parkway, as part of the National Park system, has specific regulations regarding drone flying.

Flying a drone in national parks is generally restricted to protect wildlife, visitors, and the park’s natural beauty. Unauthorized drone flights can be hazardous and disturb the environment and wildlife.

Warnings and Restricted Areas:

Some drone users have reported receiving warnings on their screens when entering the National Park system land, indicating restricted areas where drone flying is not allowed. It is essential to respect these boundaries to comply with park regulations.

DJI’s Boundaries:

Some drones, like those from DJI, have built-in geofencing systems that prevent users from unknowingly flying in restricted areas, including national parks like the Blue Ridge Parkway.

These boundaries are put in place to enhance safety and compliance with regulations.

Can You Fly a Drone on The Blue Ridge Parkway?

Class D Airspace:

The Blue Ridge Parkway might be situated within a Class D airspace, which requires additional considerations when flying a drone.

Following proper procedures and seeking permission from air traffic control and airport authorities is crucial when operating a drone within such airspace.

Seeking Permission:

If your plan involves flying a drone close to the Blue Ridge Parkway, it is essential to obtain authorization from the appropriate entities, which include air traffic control and airport officials.

Prior permission can avoid potential issues and ensure a smooth flying experience.

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Security and Liability:

Remember that flying drones responsibly is not only a matter of complying with regulations but also ensuring the safety and privacy of others.

It is crucial to remain observant of your environment and accountable for all your actions when piloting your drone.

By following these principles and being conscious of the particular rules in the region, you can relish flying your drone around the Blue Ridge Parkway, ensuring that you honor the park’s pristine charm and the well-being of fellow visitors.

Is there a possibility of flying a drone on the Blue Ridge Parkway?

Operating a drone along the Blue Ridge Parkway is typically not allowed because it falls under the jurisdiction of the National Park system and is subject to specific rules aimed at safeguarding the park’s natural surroundings, wildlife, and tourists.

Unauthorized drone flights can pose safety risks and disturb the park’s serene atmosphere.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is celebrated for its picturesque path, renowned for its breathtaking panoramas and plentiful splendor of nature.

However, as a protected area within the National Park system, it falls under specific regulations prohibiting drone flying without proper authorization.

National Park Restrictions: National parks impose strict restrictions on drone operations to safeguard the environment and wildlife.

The tranquility and preservation of these areas are paramount, and drones can disrupt the ecosystem and disturb animals.

Safety Concerns: Using drones on the Parkway can pose safety hazards, especially with many visitors enjoying scenic drives and various recreational activities. Drone mishaps could lead to accidents or injuries.

Compliance with Federal Regulations: Federal laws and park regulations aim to maintain the integrity of national parks.

Can You Fly a Drone on The Blue Ridge Parkway?

Drone operators are expected to respect these rules to preserve these protected areas’ beauty and ecological balance.

Geofencing Technology: Many modern drones come equipped with geofencing technology that prevents them from flying in restricted zones, including national parks like the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Exceptions and Permits: In exceptional circumstances, certain scientific or research-related drone flights may be permitted with prior authorization from the National Park Service.

However, such permissions are granted case-by-case and are subject to stringent conditions.

Alternative Flying Areas: While drone flying might not be allowed on the Parkway, there are plenty of other scenic areas nearby where drone enthusiasts can capture breathtaking aerial footage while complying with regulations.

Respecting the regulations established by the National Park Service is of utmost importance, as it guarantees the safeguarding and conservation of these invaluable natural wonders.

By doing so, drone operators can enjoy their hobby while contributing to the conservation efforts safeguarding the Blue Ridge Parkway’s remarkable beauty.

Can you fly a drone near the Blue ridge parkway?

While drone flying is prohibited on the Blue Ridge Parkway itself, drone enthusiasts need not be disheartened, as there are numerous breathtaking locations outside the park’s boundaries where drone flying may be permissible.

These alternative spots offer stunning vistas and opportunities to capture mesmerizing aerial footage without compromising the park’s regulations or natural beauty.

Overlooks and Scenic Spots:

Many overlooks and scenic viewpoints near the Blue Ridge Parkway provide excellent opportunities for drone pilots.

These locations offer expansive views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, creating ideal settings to showcase the region’s beauty from above.

National Forests and Public Lands:

The Blue Ridge Parkway is enveloped by expansive national forests and public lands, including renowned areas like Pisgah National Forest and Shenandoah National Park.

Check the specific regulations for these areas, as some may allow drones to fly in designated zones or with proper permits.

State Parks and Recreation Areas:

Numerous state parks and recreation zones lie in close proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway. These areas often have drone policies; some may permit drone use if it complies with the state’s regulations.

Can You Fly a Drone on The Blue Ridge Parkway?

Private Land with Permission:

Seek out private landowners or local organizations open to allowing drone flights on their property. Always remember to obtain proper permission and adhere to any rules they have in place.

Drone-Friendly Zones:

Certain cities or towns neighboring the Blue Ridge Parkway might feature allocated areas that are drone-friendly, allowing drone flight as long as safety protocols are adhered to. Be sure to research the local drone regulations in such areas.

Educational and Drone Clubs:

Look for local drone clubs or educational organizations that may organize drone-friendly events and flying sessions in approved locations.

These gatherings provide opportunities to connect with other drone enthusiasts and share experiences.

Remember, responsible drone flying is essential to ensure the safety of everyone and protect the environment.

Always adhere to the regulations set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), demonstrate respect for privately-owned areas, and display thoughtfulness towards fellow outdoor enthusiasts.

By exploring alternative locations outside the Blue Ridge Parkway’s boundaries, drone enthusiasts can continue pursuing their passion for aerial photography and videography while preserving this iconic scenic route’s natural wonders and integrity.

Do I need special permission to fly a drone on the Blue Ridge Parkway?

No special permission is necessary for flying drones on the Blue Ridge Parkway; however, it’s essential to note that drone operation is strictly prohibited in this area.

The National Park Service has put this limitation in place to give priority to the safety and welfare of park guests while safeguarding the variety of wildlife and natural assets found within the park’s confines.

Drones have the potential to disturb the serene environment and pose significant safety hazards if not operated responsibly.

The restriction on drone utilization aligns with the core objective of the National Park Service, which is to safeguard and protect the ecological and historical legacy of the Blue Ridge Parkway for the benefit of forthcoming generations.

The tranquil landscapes, unique ecosystems, and historical significance of the Parkway deserve the utmost respect and preservation.

By prohibiting drone flights, the Park Service aims to minimize disturbances and maintain the park’s peaceful ambiance, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding wilderness.

Can You Fly a Drone on The Blue Ridge Parkway?

While the allure of capturing aerial views may be tempting, visitors must adhere to these regulations to protect the delicate balance of the Blue Ridge Parkway ecosystem.

Instead, individuals can explore alternative photography and videography methods that do not infringe upon this cherished national treasure’s tranquility and preservation efforts.

By embracing these guidelines, we can all play a role in safeguarding the Blue Ridge Parkway’s natural wonders and guaranteeing its enjoyment for future generations.

Who controls drone laws in the Blue Ridge Parkway?

The drone laws in the Blue Ridge Parkway are controlled by the National Park Service (NPS).

The Blue Ridge Parkway’s drone operations and those conducted within the NPS-managed areas fall under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service (NPS), which oversees their management and regulation.

These regulations primarily aim to safeguard the well-being of park visitors, conserve the park’s varied wildlife, and preserve its natural resources.

As of July 20, 2023, no special permission is required to fly a drone on the Blue Ridge Parkway. However, drone flights are strictly prohibited to maintain the park’s serene environment and prevent potential disruptions to other visitors.

The NPS has enforced this restriction to preserve the park’s beauty and historical significance for future generations.

Flying drones within the Blue Ridge Parkway’s jurisdiction is prohibited, and individuals should refrain from operating drones in the area to avoid violating the NPS regulations.

Can You Fly a Drone on The Blue Ridge Parkway?

Failure to comply with these rules may lead to penalties or legal consequences, as the NPS takes drone flight restrictions seriously to safeguard the park and its resources.

For more information about drone regulations and the specific rules in place for the Blue Ridge Parkway, individuals can refer to the official NPS website or contact the relevant park authorities directly.

Are there any drone laws in Blue Ridge Parkway?

Yes, drone regulations are in place within the confines of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The National Park Service prohibits the launching, landing, or operation of uncrewed aircraft on lands and waters under its administration in the Parkway.

This measure aims to safeguard the well-being of park visitors, wildlife, and park resources. Improperly operated drones can be disruptive to other visitors and may pose safety risks.

Below are some of the specific drone regulations within the Blue Ridge Parkway:

  • Flying a drone within 5 miles of an airport is against the law.
  • It is prohibited to fly a drone over people or sensitive areas, such as wildlife refuges or national monuments.
  • Flying a drone at night is not allowed.
  • Only licensed drone pilots are permitted to fly drones.
  • Violating drone laws in the Blue Ridge Parkway may result in fines of up to $5,000.
Can You Fly a Drone on The Blue Ridge Parkway?

For those interested in legally flying a drone in the Blue Ridge Parkway, consider the following tips:

  • Check the FAA website for a list of designated drone flying areas.
  • Ensure you possess a valid drone pilot license.
  • Adhere to all FAA regulations.
  • Stay vigilant of your surroundings and operate your drone responsibly.

What other best places near Blue Ridge Parkway are to fly a drone?

If you’re an avid drone enthusiast, you’re in for a treat near the picturesque Blue Ridge Parkway. This scenic route offers breathtaking views and ample opportunities for flying your drone.

However, to add variety to your aerial adventures, let’s explore some other best places around the Blue Ridge Parkway where you can fly your drone and capture stunning footage. Let’s embark on this drone-filled journey!

Linville Falls:

Venture off the beaten path and head towards Linville Falls, a majestic waterfall along the Blue Ridge Parkway. With its cascading waters and lush surroundings, Linville Falls offers a picturesque landscape for drone photography.

Fly your drone around the falls to capture the mesmerizing beauty from different angles, and you’ll be rewarded with awe-inspiring shots that stand out from the rest.

Mount Mitchell:

Elevate your drone adventure to new heights by visiting Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River.

This natural wonder provides an excellent vantage point for sweeping panoramic shots of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Can You Fly a Drone on The Blue Ridge Parkway?

As your drone soars above, the breathtaking views will leave you spellbound, making Mount Mitchell a must-visit destination for any drone enthusiast.

Grandfather Mountain:

Known for its rugged beauty and diverse ecosystems, Grandfather Mountain offers a unique opportunity for drone exploration.

From the iconic Mile High Swinging Bridge to the scenic overlooks, there are plenty of spots to launch your drone and capture the stunning landscapes that make this area unique.

Pisgah National Forest:

Expand your drone horizons by heading to Pisgah National Forest, a vast expanse of natural beauty with various flora and fauna.

Fly your drone through the dense forests, along winding rivers, and above the numerous waterfalls to capture the splendor of this wilderness from a bird’s-eye view.

Roan Mountain:

For a genuinely enchanting drone experience, go to Roan Mountain during the blooming season.

This mountain is famous for its stunning rhododendron gardens, creating a sea of vibrant colors, a visual feast for drone photography.

Take your drone on an aerial tour over the colorful slopes, and you’ll have mesmerizing shots showcasing nature’s wonders.

Important FAQs

Do I need a parking pass for the Blue Ridge Parkway?

No, there is no parking pass required to access and park along the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is free for all visitors.

Where can I find a map of the Blue Ridge Parkway?

You can obtain a map of the Blue Ridge Parkway at visitor centers along the route or access digital versions on the National Park Service website.

Through which states does the Blue Ridge Parkway pass?

The Blue Ridge Parkway runs through Virginia and North Carolina, offering picturesque views and diverse landscapes.

Where does the Blue Ridge Parkway start and end?

The Blue Ridge Parkway starts at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and ends at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, covering approximately 469 miles of scenic beauty.

Final Thoughts on: Can You Fly a Drone on The Blue Ridge Parkway?

In conclusion, flying a drone on the Blue Ridge Parkway is strictly prohibited to ensure the safety and preservation of this natural wonder.

The National Park Service oversees drone regulations in the area, enforcing a zero-tolerance policy.

However, drone enthusiasts can explore nearby areas like designated aircraft fields or state parks offering stunning aerial vistas.

Always research and adhere to local regulations to enjoy drone flying responsibly while respecting the region’s natural beauty.

All images in this article are taken from

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