Many people find the Parkway their favorite place to escape the summer heat. Even here in early to mid August Parkway meadows are filled with the beautiful blooms of summer that remind us that any time of year or season the Parkway is a wonderful place for those who love wildflowers.
On the far northern end of the Parkway near Humpback Rocks, Joe-Pye Weed, Morning Glory, Woodland Sunflower, Black Eyed Susan, Ironweed, and Queen Anne’s Lace are all very common.
Stroll through the picnic area at Humpback Rocks and enjoy the Yarrow and Heal All in bloom there. In the Rocky Knob/ Mabry Mill area, Milkweed and Jewelweed, New York Ironweed, Coreopsis, Crown Vetch, Black Cohosh, Flowering Spurge, Virgin’s Bower and Foxglove are common. New blooms seen this week include Wild Indigo, Pale Indian Plantain and Evening Primrose.
From Groundhog Mountain to the North Carolina/ Virginia state line, including the Blue Ridge Music Center, Goldenrod and Tall Coneflower, Black Eyed Susan, Hawkweed, and New York Ironweed are common.
In North Carolina through the Grandfather Mountain corridor the most prevalent blooms are Queen Anne’s Lace and Sundrop, Coreopsis with a few Turks Cap Lilies and some Virgin’s Bower coming on. Fleabane Daisy and White Snakeroot are just about everywhere. Rough Ridge at MP 302.8 you’ll find White Snakeroot, Fetterbush and Sand Myrtle with the Mountain Ash trees also bearing right now.
At Bass Lake off Hwy 221 on the Cone Estate look for Bertha Cone’s Hydrangeas which are really looking beautiful and the lake there is full of Water Lilies. Heal All and Tiny Daisies are also everywhere. Tall Bellflower and Meadow Rue are coming along near the Manor House.
In this 75th Anniversary year the Parkway is crowded with visitors especially on weekends so please don’t be in a hurry. Enjoy your visit to America’s Favorite Drive.
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.