This is the Blue Ridge Parkway wildflower report for Independence Day weekend. An abundance of rain in the region has continued through June and the result is full creeks and nice waterfalls tumbling down into the Piedmont along with a prolific wildflower bloom.
From the northern end of the Parkway through the James River area, look for Butterfly Weed, Daisy, Black-eyed Susan, Queen Anne’s Lace, Common Fleabane, Goat’s Beard, and Black Cohosh. Through the Peaks of Otter and down into the Roanoke Valley, Fleabane, Queen Anne’s Lace, Golden Ragwort, Daisy, Butterfly Weed, Crown Vetch, Orange Daylilies, and Yellow Wood Sorrel are common.
Around Mabry Mill, visitors will find Rosebay Rhododendron in bloom, along with Daylilies, Bowman’s Root, Daisy Fleabane, Yarrow, and Yellow Wood Sorrel. New blooms this week around the mill include Milkweed, Butterfly Weed, and some Grace Lilly. In Doughton Park, Rosebay is in full bloom along with Mullein, Evening Primrose, Firepink, Yarrow, Galax, Goat’s Beard, and Ox-eye Daisy.
Rosebay is also nicely in bloom in the Linville Falls area all the way to the North Carolina Minerals Museum, and Elderberry is especially noticeable on the Linville Falls trail. At Crabtree Meadows, Fire Pink and Columbine can be found blooming in the meadow area.
On the Moses Cone Memorial Park trail, blooms include Fly Poison, St. John’s Wort, Spiderwort, Milkweed, Ox-eye Daisy, Buttercup, Black-eyed Susan, and lots more. Walk the Rough Ridge trail to see Galax and Indian Cucumber Root, Mountain Laurel and Turkey Beard.
An increase in bear sightings throughout the region means taking some extra care and precautions in food storage at picnic areas and campgrounds and being very careful to keep your distance from all park wildlife during your venture down trails.
The Independence Day weekend will be busier than normal, so watch out for the extra traffic along with bicycles. As we always remind visitors, enjoy the view, but watch the road.
Regular updates for color reports will be posted to our web site home page. You can also use the National Park Service information line at 828-298-0398 to keep informed of what’s being reported on the Parkway.