Summer is a great time for blooms here in the Blue Ridge and remember that your elevation change can make a great deal of difference in what you find blooming along the roadsides or maybe down your favorite trail. If you think you’ve missed a favorite bloom at a favorite spot, head up the mountain and you may find it still on display.
In the Peaks of Otter area, in Virginia, around milepost 80-86, Day Lilly is especially nice right now. A little further south, look for the bright orange Butterfly Weed, St. John’s Wort, Canada Lily, Milkweed, Yarrow, Ox-eye Daisy, Daisy Fleabane, and Black-eyed Susan. The Rosebay Rhododendron, the larger white or pink blooming variety, is blooming south of Roanoke to the North Carolina state line and is perhaps nicest through the Mabry Mill area. Many areas of North Carolina are reporting some remaining Flame Azalea, causing some visitor comments along the way.
In general, look for Sundrop, Columbine, Phlox, Fire Pink, Wild Hydrangea, and Black Cohosh, especially between Parkway headquarters in Asheville and the Craggy Gardens Visitor’s Center.
The Parkway is a beautiful place to spend your summer, but it’s not like most other roads. Take some special precautions while driving. Above all, slow down, take your time, and use the overlooks to let traffic that backs up behind you get by.
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.
Have a safe Parkway visit! Enjoy the view, but watch the road.