Neighborhood profile: Parkway Forest

The Parkway Forest neighborhood is located on Asheville’s east side, across from the Charles George VA Medical Center. It is just minutes from I-40 and about 12 minutes from downtown. 
Parkway Forest was built in the early 1960s by Pilot Construction Company of Greensboro. The property was originally an apple orchard and nursery. The original deeds say “Oteen Township,” although the neighborhood is now inside Asheville’s city limits. Some streets parallel each other, and the developer’s intention was to leave a corridor between back yards that could constitute a public space. Side-to-side, some homes are spaced further apart than others, with the original intention of adding access roads to this public space. This didn’t happen and eventually homeowners bought up the communal land behind their respective houses.
Parkway Forest consists of approximately 160 midcentury brick ranch-style homes. There are a handful of original home layouts that repeat throughout the neighborhood, and over the years homeowners have added their own updates and additions. The original homes are approximately 1,000 square feet, with nice-sized yards.  The community is tight-knit where people are often out walking and neighbors know each other.
The community also has one of the oldest neighborhood associations in the city. From the very beginning, residents cared about establishing a sense of community here.
Nature is not far. Access to the Blue Ridge Parkway is a stone’s throw from the neighborhood’s entrance. One can walk to the Mountains-to-Sea trail via a well-kept access trail bordering a neighbor’s yard without ever having to venture out to Tunnel Road. Once on the trail, the Folk Art center is about a one-mile hike north and the Parkway Visitor’s Center is about two miles south. Being so close to the Parkway, they get frequent visits from bears that enjoy climbing our trees and perusing the neighborhood.
Residents of Parkway Forest are concerned citizens who take pride in being one of the safest neighborhoods in Asheville. There is an active and growing Neighborhood Association that has accomplished important goals for its residents over the years, including success in getting our streets re-paved and the sewers cleaned out, not to mention many social functions that aid in building the sense of community. Members of our Association are represented in the greater community through the Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods and the Neighborhood Advisory Committee.
This summer, the Parkway Forest Neighborhood Association held its first block party in many years with great success.