‘Very sad.’ Breathtaking NC Blue Ridge Parkway views increasingly targeted by vandals
Blue Ridge Parkway officials are pleading with visitors for help this month to help stop thieves from stealing signs and vandals from defacing scenic parkway overlooks in North Carolina.
Vandalism has only worsened in recent years and continues seemingly unabated, parkway officials posted on Facebook with a photo of an overlook with a graffiti-scarred protective barrier.
“Designers of the Blue Ridge Parkway carefully considered every part of the experience when they laid out the route in the 1930s,” according to the March 11 parkway Facebook post. “Landscape architects thoughtfully located the park’s structures, overlooks, and natural and cultural features to provide an incomparable experience.”
“Unfortunately, in recent years, vandalized or stolen signs have become all too common,” officials said. “Nearly every day, park rangers find words or images drawn, painted, or carved into signs, fences and infrastructure.”
Replacing or repairing the signs “is expensive, time-consuming, and labor-intensive,” according to the parkway.
“Dozens of park rangers and volunteers regularly remove graffiti, using time and resources that could go toward other parkway projects that would better benefit local communities and visitors,” officials posted.
“Very sad,” a man posted on Facebook.
“Can’t understand why some people have to spoil things,” a woman posted. “The graffiti makes no sense.”
About 15.7 million recreation visitors enjoyed the 469-mile parkway in 2022, according to a Feb. 28 parkway news release.
Only two other parks in the 424-national park system saw more than 10 million such visitors.
Visitors who spot a vandal or thief in action are urged to take down license plate information, leave the area and then call parkway dispatchers at 800-727-5928.