Planning a trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway? Be prepared for little to poor mobile broadband!
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a top tourist destination that has stellar views and overlooks. However, you should plan to have no to poor cellular service for your map navigation.
Google Offline Maps
Before you depart for the BRP, download ‘Offline Maps’ to your mobile device and Google Maps app for your turn by turn map views.
1. **Ensure you have a strong internet connection.** Since you will be downloading large maps, it’s recommended to do this on a WiFi network to avoid using up your mobile data.
2. **Open Google Maps on your device.** If you haven’t installed it, you can find it on Google Play Store for Android or App Store for iOS. Make sure it’s updated to the latest version.
3. **Search for Blue Ridge Parkway.** Type “Blue Ridge Parkway” into the search bar at the top and press the search button.
4. **Select the area to download.** Once the map has loaded, press on your avatar to see more information about the location.
5. **Adjust the area.** You can pinch to zoom in or out, and drag to reposition the map. Google Maps will tell you how much storage the download will take. Try to cover the areas you’ll be visiting along the Blue Ridge Parkway, including the roads you’ll be using to get there and away, as well as any areas you plan to explore off the parkway.
6. **Download the map.** Once you’re happy with the area you’ve selected, press the “Download” button. The download process will start, and it might take some time depending on the size of the map and your internet speed.
7. **Rename Your Map.** Once the map is download, Google Maps app will automatically name the file “Map #.” I suggest renaming the map area to something meaningful.
Remember, offline maps will prompt you for updates in the future.
Also, while using offline maps, you won’t get traffic information, transit details, or other real-time features.
It’s always a good idea to check your maps are downloaded and working correctly before you leave for your trip.