Grandfather Mountain Slates Rhododendron Ramble

Grandfather Mountain Rhododendron Festival

The sights are amazing on Grandfather Mountain. Photo credit: Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

Grandfather Mountain Slates Rhododendron Ramble. Grandfather Mountain is set to showcase the iconic plant that ushers summer into the mountain’s high country, the Catawba Rhododendron.

Grandfather Mountain has scheduled The Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble, June 1-9. The event features a series of short, guided strolls each day at 1 p.m. led by park naturalists who will talk about the history, characteristics and roles these spectacular plants play in the mountain’s ecological communities. An extra added benefit is the spectacular views that are the park’s signature feature. Location for the hikes depends on which section has the best blooms and participants are encouraged to enquire at the park’s entrance gate for the starting point of each day’s hike.

The event culminates on June 9 with a native plant festival and multiple hikes. That day, hikes are scheduled on an hourly rotation and are divided into ability groups. The beginner level hike, from 11 a.m. – noon, travels a quarter-mile through fairly level Woods Walk, and the advanced level hike, slated from 1:30-2:30 p.m., traverses about 1.5 miles at Black rock and highlights a higher elevation rhododendron and acid cove forests. Intermediate level hike, scheduled from 2:30-3:30 p.m. is a one-mile loop that leads through McRae Meadows and ends at Point sublime. Participants are encouraged to select hikes based on ability. All hikes are led by a member of Grandfather Mountain’s naturalist staff.

Also included on this day, the park’s Let-It-Rain picnic shelter will be filled with local organizations, botanists and representatives from local plant nurseries who will share information about native plants. A kid’s craft activity, also located at the shelter, will provide youngsters with an opportunity to make their own Rhododendron blossom to take home.

Four species of rhododendron grow wild on Grandfather Mountain and three of them could be in bloom for this year’s event said, Amy Renfranz, the park’s director of education. The types include flame azaleas (R. Calendulaceum) which range from orange, peach or red; Catawba rhododendron (R. Catawbiense) , possibly the best know of all rhodos, blooms early to mid-June and their deep purple flowers provide a spectacular canopy over many trails. Rosebay Rhododendron (R. Maximum), the last to bloom in late July, spreads a blush of delicate pink blossoms.

Grandfather Mountain is a one tank trip up our sister national park, The Blue Ridge Parkway, and getting there is half the fun! Take a ride with us on a perfect day cruising the parkway!

 

More Hey Smokies Features:

Smoky Mountain Parsons Branch Road Opens
Smoky Mountain Parsons Branch Road Opens...
Smoky Mountain Parsons Branch Road Opens after a six year closure. GSMNP officials celebrated the reopening of Parson Branch Road with a ri[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains  Seeks Help Identifying Historic Homesites
Great Smoky Mountains Seeks Help Identifying Historic Homesites...
Dan Lawson place is one of the many historic homesites preserved in the Smoky Mountains. Great Smoky Mountains Seeks Help Identifying Histor[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Volunteers Needed
Smoky Mountain Volunteers Needed...
Ramsey Cascades in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the tallest waterfalls accessible by trail in the park! Smoky Mountain Volu[Read More >>]
Big Creek Trail Closure
Big Creek Trail Closure...
Big Creek, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Big Creek trail closure. A temporary, weekday closure of Big Creek Trail to repair the popula[Read More >>]
Cades Cove Car Ban
Cades Cove Car Ban...
Cades Cove car ban is under way. Cades Cove Car Ban begins May 4, 2022 through September 28, 2022.  Cove visitors are encouraged t[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Tamale Recipe
Smoky Mountain Tamale Recipe...
Smoky Mountain Tamale recipe. Homemade tamales are always a Smoky Mountain special event! Did you know that the Smoky Mountains are on the [Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Dates Announced
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Dates Announced...
Smoky Mountain synchronous firefly dates announced. Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Dates Announced. Great Smoky Mountains National Park [Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Trail Volunteers Needed
Smoky Mountain Trail Volunteers Needed...
Smoky Mountain Trail Volunteers Needed. GSMNP is recruiting volunteers to adopt a trail along the 848 miles of maintained trails across the[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Smoky Mountain Parking Fee Proposed...
Smoky Mountain Parking Fee Proposed. GSMNP officials are seeking public input on proposed fee program changes for 2023, including a new pa[Read More >>]
Clingmans Dome Opens To Public
Clingmans Dome Opens To Public...
Clingmans Dome road opens to public! Clingmans Dome Opens To Public April 14, 2022. Clingmans Dome road normally opens April 1st. The delay [Read More >>]
Pigeon Forge Spring Rod Run
Pigeon Forge Spring Rod Run...
Pigeon Forge rod run will get your motor running! Pigeon Forge Spring Rod Run will get your motor running! The area's largest automotive eve[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Cades Cove Buffalo Herd Stampede...
Cades Cove Buffalo Herd Stampedes through the valley. Millions of visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park were treated to a ver[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Southern Mac And Cheese Recipe
Smoky Mountain Southern Mac And Cheese Recipe...
Smoky Mountain Southern Mac And Cheese Recipe is the perfect side dish for any meal and sometimes it is a great meal all by itself. All you ne[Read More >>]
The Cades Cove Experience in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Cades Cove Experience in Great Smoky Mountains National Park...
The 6,800-acre valley comprising Cades Cove, one of the most visited areas of the park, provides a glimpse of a bygone mountain lifestyle. Trave[Read More >>]
Bears in Great Smoky Mountains | What You Need to Know
Bears in Great Smoky Mountains | What You Need to Know...
With the tourist season in full swing and a record number of visitors to the Smoky Mountains last year, the opportunities for an encounter with [Read More >>]
Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway...
Did you know that the Blue Ridge Parkway is connected to Great Smoky Mountains National Park? That's right; another National Park is a[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Welcomes 14.1 Million Visitors In 2021....
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Welcomes 14.1 Million Visitors In 2021. GSMNP experienced the busiest year on record with 14,137,812 vi[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Historic Walker Sisters Cabin Closed To Public
Smoky Mountain Historic Walker Sisters Cabin Closed To Public...
Smoky Mountain Historic Walker Sisters Cabin Closed To Public due to safety concerns. Built in the 1800's the cabin was occupied by the Wal[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Ice Curls
Smoky Mountain Ice Curls...
Smoky Mountain ice curls, whorls, tufts, feathers and mounds—all forms that natural ice can take on the ground under the right conditions. In a[Read More >>]
New Year Beans And Greens Recipe
New Year Beans And Greens Recipe...
New Year Beans And Greens Recipe. What is behind the Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Years day? Some folk[Read More >>]