Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina was the third national site that was commemorated in 2015 with a U.S. quarter design. It marks the 28th release, or the halfway point, in the United States Mint series of America the Beautiful Quarters. The quarter program debuted in 2010 and lasts until at least year 2021 when the national parks and other sites honored reaches a total of 56.
Several key dates for North Carolina’s 2015 Blue Ridge Parkway Quarter include its:
- release into general circulation on June 8;
- official launch ceremony in Pack Square Park in Asheville, North Carolina on June 25; and
- release in U.S. Mint rolls and bags at www.usmint.gov on June 29.
Five quarters are released every year as a part of the U.S. Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters® Program. Each bears a reverse image emblematic of a selected national park or national site while obverses show the familiar portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States.
Reverses of Blue Ridge Parkway Quarters offer a depiction of the grace and curvature of the road hugging the side of a mountain, with the North Carolina state flower in the foreground. Frank Morris crafted this scene and Joseph Menna sculpted it. Inscribed around the image are BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY, NORTH CAROLINA, 2015, and E PLURIBUS UNUM. Following reviews and recommendations, this design was selected by the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury from among six design candidates. This same design also appears on the Mint’s series of three-inch, five ounce silver coins composed in .999 fine silver.
Two quarters launched in 2015 before the Blue Ridge Parkway Quarter. Those quarters are the Homestead National Monument Quarter (NE) and the Kisatchie National Forest Quarter (LA). Later released 2015-dated quarters include those commemorating Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge (DE) and Saratoga National Historical Park (NY).
Blue Ridge Parkway Information
Following the Blue Ridge Mountain range, Blue Ridge Parkway is mostly located in North Carolina with the rest of the roadway found in Virginia.
Since the roadway is located near many cities, it is the most visited national park in the National Park System. It offers exceptional scenery along the roadway. Over 15 million people visit it per year, taking in much of the view of the Appalachian Mountains.
Traveling is best enjoyed in the warmer months since parts of the roadway can be closed in the winter due to snow and ice. The park’s facilities are closed during the winter as well. Visitors must plan ahead during these months, as well as any other time of year, especially since there are no gas stations along the way.