Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Craggy Gardens
Blue Ridge Parkway Mile 364.5
Buncombe County, NC

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Since I decided to take the whole day off from work I elected to take the scenic drive to the Grandfather Mountain Nature Photography Weekend. I would have several hours at my disposal before I could check in. So I decided to do a few short hikes along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Blue Ridge Parkway

The first stop was the Craggy Gardens Visitors Center at Mile Marker 364.5. The Visitors Center was closed, but there are several trails that start from the Visitors Center Parking area.

It is about a half mile hike to the Craggy Gardens Area which is known for its spectacular Catawba Rhododendron Blooms every June. There were definitely some nice blooms, but I was probably a good week early for peak bloom. Still well worth the short and easy hike and a very nice first stop to my weekend!

Catawba Rhododendron Blooms by the Craggy Gardens Trail Shelter

While I only hiked about a mile here, with all the trails in the area, you could easily plan a hike of any distance. It’s a great summer time hiking destination because with elevations over 5,000 feet, it is generally about 15-20 degrees cooler than the low lands. After suffering through several days with close to 100 degree temperatures, the much cooler weather up here felt awesome!

Some additional Photos are posted here:
http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/580339565zimaRT

1 comment:

HemlockMan said...

Me and Carole have our wedding anniversary this weekend. I have surgery on Tuesday. So I'm thinking a quick trip to the mountains is in order. To hold me over until I can hike again.