The Blue Ridge Parkway's trademark Mabry Mil.

The Blue Ridge Parkway’s landmark Mabry Mil.

Bikes mix with tourists outside the Mill

Bikers mix with tourists outside the restaurant

Mabry Mill, the iconic stop that is also the most-photographed location on the Blue Ridge Parkway, is open for another season with a newly-repaired wheel on the trademark mill, a new vendor operating the restaurant for the decade and newly-renovated grounds for the various arts and crafts displays.

Motorcycle, cars and vans filled the parking lot on a Sunday with temperatures in the mid-70s and a blue sky overhead as visitors walked the mill grounds, bought souvenirs in the gift shop, munched on ice cream or waited for seats to sample the new menu in the restaurant.

With repairs on the mill wheel not complete, water to the wheel is not on yet but should be by the official start of the Parkway tourist season on Memorial day.

After a year of budget cuts and closings, the Parkway appears ready to reopen for business as usual in 2014 with the Smartview Campground reopening this month along with the Rock Knob Visitor’s Center.

A crowded day at a popular Blue Ridge Parkway landmark.  Summer is definitely coming.

Visitors, the trademark wheel and ducks in the pond

Visitors, the trademark wheel and ducks in the pond

A full parking lot on a Sunday afternoon.

A full parking lot on a Sunday afternoon.