Photo courtesy of Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau
Drive north along the Blue Ridge Parkway and you’ll stumble upon a breathtaking view of the mountains this region is known for.
Craggy Gardens — located at milepost 364.4 — offers crisp mountain air, great hiking trails, rhododendrons as far as the eye can see, and a picnic area where you can relax and eat your fill before climbing atop the Craggy Pinnacle. With an elevation of 5,892 feet, The Pinnacle presents a gorgeous, panoramic view of the rolling Appalachian mountains.
The trails that surround the stunning overlook take you through tunnels of rambling rhododendron, gnarled sweet birch trees, and wildflowers. Choose between Craggy Pinnacle Trail, Craggy Gardens Trail (both accessible from the Visitors Center) and the Douglas Falls Trail (accessible from the Mountain to Sea Trail). The combination of high altitude, cool weather, and exposed rocky outcrops creates the necessary habitat for a number of rare and endangered plants. Craggy Gardens has been recognized as a Natural Heritage Area and has been recommended as a National Natural Landmark. For more information, visit blueridgeparkway.org, and search ‘Craggy Gardens’.