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A scenic viewpoint, also called an observation point, viewpoint or viewing point, or, in North America, a lookout, scenic overlook or vista point, is a high place where people can view scenery (often with binoculars) and photograph it. Scenic overlooks are typically created alongside mountain roads, often as a simple turnouts where motorists can pull over onto pavement, gravel, or grass on the right-of-way. Many are larger, having parking areas, while some (typically on larger highways) are off the road completely.
Overlooks are frequently found in national parks, and in the U.S. along national parkways such as the Blue Ridge Parkway, which has numerous individually named overlooks for viewing the Blue Ridge Mountains and its valleys. Other overlooks are next to waterfalls, especially since mountain roads tend to follow streams.
Many overlooks are accessible only by trails and wooden walkways and stairs, especially in ecologically sensitive areas. These overlooks are often wooden decks, which minimize the impact on the land by reducing the need to disturb it for construction.
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- Stratum Pier by artist Kendall Buster