Early summer is a great time for blooms here in the Blue Ridge. Remember that your elevation change can make a great deal of difference in what you find blooming along the roadside or perhaps down your favorite Parkway trail.
In Virginia through the Peaks of Otter area and across the high elevation of Apple Orchard Mountain look for Mountain Laurel and Columbine and Wild Bergamot. Bowman’s Root, Yarrow and Common Milkweed may be on display as well.
Daisy Fleabane and Ox-Eye Daisy are very common throughout this area. Around the Peaks of Otter look closely for some remaining Fire Pink. In the Rocky Knob area down to the Virginia/ North Carolina state line look for Laurel in bloom and Catawba Trees, Yarrow, some Fire Pink, Ox-Eye Daisy, and Elderberry.
At the high elevations around Craggy Gardens and Mount Mitchell in North Carolina there are some Rhododendron on display along the road but the great display at Craggy Gardens is not yet in bloom. South of Mt. Pisgah reports of beautiful Catawba Rhododendron are common and some Mountain Laurel and Flame Azalea are also evident in the high elevations.
The Parkway is a beautiful place to visit this summer but it’s not like other roads so take some special precautions while driving. Above all, slow down and take your time. Use the overlooks to let traffic that might back up behind you get by. As we often tell visitors, enjoy the view, but watch the road. Enjoy this 75th anniversary year on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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.