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Craggy Gardens Area
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Location Asheville, North Carolina
Address Asheville, North Carolina
Lat, Long 35.705262, -82.410507
GPS Enabled
Description This self-guiding nature trail passes through a high-elevation Northern Hardwood forest to a Heath Bald, and finally into a Grassy Summit. A large trail shelter makes an excellent spot for a picnic. Visit during mid to late June for a spectacular display of Catawba Rhododendron blossoms. Visit in late summer for a bountiful harvest of fresh mountain blueberries. And visit any time of year to study the high elevation environment in the Craggy Gardens area! This trail actually travels from the Visitor Center, through a trail shelter at Craggy Flats, to the Craggy Gardens Picnic Area below in Bearpen Gap. The section of trail from the Visitor Center to the flats near the trail shelter is a short, self-guiding nature trail that travels uphill through a forest of stunted, twisted high-elevation mountain ash, birch, beech, and finally through a heath bald. Shortly after leaving the parking area, you'll reach the intersection with the Mountains to Sea/Douglas Falls trail. Bear left here, uphill. You're now walking the famous Mountains to Sea Trail, which stretches from the Blue Ridge to the Outer Banks! The sign at the beginning states that it is a 20 minute hike out to the shelter and back, but you'll want to take more time than that and explore all that is to be found in the spectacular environment around you. Along the way, signs point out elements of the high-elevation environment and identify some of the plants and animals you may encounter. You'll pass under tunnels of tall, twisted Rhododendron and you'll pass a small spring along the way as well. At the end is the old trail shelter, built from Chestnut logs - a species long since relegated to stubby sprouts from dying root systems, due to an introduced blight. From the shelter, you can go left - uphill - and explore the Gardens - with their grassy, open meadows, and secret hiding places under the Rhododendrons. There are great views from up here, especially of Craggy Pinnacle to your north. A couple of pleasant little paths wind through the meadows, eventuall
Keywords NC, Hike, Trails, Heath Bald, Grassy Summit, NC, Pisgah National Forest, Trails, Ranger District, Asheville, Blue Ridge Parkway
Updated on 2014-05-28
Created on 2011-10-05
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