Thursday, February 26, 2009
In June of 2007, George and I went on our anniversary trip to Williamsburg/Jamestown/Yorktown. As we do on most all of our trips, we stop along the way searching out new waterfalls and/or scenic areas. One of the first places we stopped on our way to Williamsburg was Craggy Gardens. This is one of the most scenic areas in Western North Carolina, just north of Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The Great Craggy Mountains are an area of exposed rock surfaces and high peaks that provide breathtaking views of distant southern Appalachian ridges. Large expanses of native rhododendron cover the slopes and summits of the Craggies. In mid-June, pink and purple blooms of Catawba rhododendron cover the Craggies. Throughout the summer, smaller native wildflowers cover the ground with vibrant splashes of color. These natural garden meadows are "balds."
They say that mid to late June is usually prime time for viewing the pink and purple blooms of rhododendron that blanket much of the Craggies. We were there on June 18---and missed the 'peak' by about a week. BUT--we still saw some gorgeous blooms. Elevation at Craggy Gardens is about 5900 feet---and it was cool, even on a Summer day. While there, we took a 1.5 mile easy hike, called the Craggy Pinnacle. This hike led us through a 'tunnel' of rhododendrons to the summit. Here are some of our pictures taken that day at Craggy Gardens. Above is a photo of some of the rhododendron blooms. Below are other pictures. Be sure to click on the pictures for a better look.
Above is one of the views of the mountains from Craggy Gardens.
George --standing in front of one of the large Rhododendrons
A close-up of the gorgeous Rhododendron blossoms
A picture of me --in front of more of the Rhododendrons
And finally, here's one more photo of the gorgeous view from Craggy Gardens. We highly recommend this beautiful place at Milepost 364.4 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.