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 Winter Experience
Smoky Mountain Winter Experience...
Smoky Mountain Winter Experience event is scheduled for January 27 -29, 2020 at the Ramsey Hotel in Pigeon Forge. This inaugural event will offe[Read More >>]
5 Awesome Winter Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains
5 Awesome Winter Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains...
5 Awesome Winter Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains! We love winter in the Smoky Mountains. The crowds thin out and the traffic slows down. Cle[Read More >>]
Remember When, Lost Smoky Mountain Attractions - Hunter Hills Theater
Remember When, Lost Smoky Mountain Attractions - Hunter Hills Theater...
Remember When, Lost Smoky Mountain Attractions - Hunter Hills Theater. Gatlinburg is widely known as a national vacation destination offering[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 >>]
New Years Eve Bootlegger's Ball
New Years Eve Bootlegger's Ball...
New Years Eve Bootlegger's Ball will ring in 2020 Tuesday, December 31, 2019. This roaring good time will be held at Junction 35 Spirits in Pige[Read More >>]
German Christmas Lebkuchen Recipe
German Christmas Lebkuchen Recipe...
German Christmas Lebkuchen recipe is one of the most beloved and popular Christmas treats in Deutschland. The recipe dates back to the 14th cent[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains Oconaluftee Holiday Homecoming
Great Smoky Mountains Oconaluftee Holiday Homecoming...
Great Smoky Mountains Oconaluftee Holiday Homecoming. The annual holiday homecoming at the Oconaluftee Visitors Center is scheduled for Saturday[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Fraser Fir Trees, America's Favorite Christmas Tree
Smoky Mountain Fraser Fir Trees, America's Favorite Christmas Tree...
Smoky Mountain Fraser Fir Trees, America's Favorite Christmas Tree.  The Fraser fir, which can reach some 55-feet tall in the wild, is the only [Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountain Annual Festival Of Christmas Past
Great Smoky Mountain Annual Festival Of Christmas Past...
Great Smoky Mountain Annual Festival Of Christmas Past Saturday, December 14, 2019. The event will be held at Sugarlands Visitor Center beginnin[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Long Cold Full Moon
Smoky Mountain Long Cold Full Moon...
Smoky Mountain Long Cold Full Moon is on the rise! The final full moon for 2019 and the decade will reach its apex at 12:12 a.m. on December 12t[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Winterfest
Smoky Mountain Winterfest...
Smoky Mountain Winterfest begins November 22, 2019 and runs through February 15, 2020. This celebration of light gives our mountain communities [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 [Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Event 2020
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Event 2020...
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Event 2020. It’s never to early to start making plans to see the Synchronous Fireflies (and the Blue Ghost Fi[Read More >>]
Biltmore Downton Abbey Exhibition Special Event
Biltmore Downton Abbey Exhibition Special Event...
  Biltmore Downton Abbey Exhibition Special Event will be featured through April 7, 2020. Costumes, sets and more are part of the new Down[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Elk Rut
Smoky Mountain Elk Rut...
Smoky Mountain Elk Rut is heating up in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.The fall mating season begins each year around mid-September and is [Read More >>]
Dollywood Light The Way 5K
Dollywood Light The Way 5K...
Dollywood Light The Way 5K is scheduled for Friday November 15, 2019 at Dollywood. This annual event is celebrating its seventh year running. Th[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Full Beaver Moon
Smoky Mountain Full Beaver Moon...
Smoky Mountain Full Beaver Moon is set to rise November 12, 2019. There is no place more special to view the rise of a full moon than Great Smok[Read More >>]
Don't Feed The Bears Event
Don't Feed The Bears Event...
Don't Feed The Bears Event benefitting Appalachian Bear Rescue will be Saturday, November 16, 2019. The event will be held at the Enchanted Vall[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Stargazing Event
Smoky Mountain Stargazing Event...
Great Smoky Mountains Stargazing Event will be held at the Highlands Science Learning Center Friday, November 15, 2019 in North Carolina. The Hi[Read More >>]
Apple Dapple Cake Recipe
Apple Dapple Cake Recipe...
Apple Dapple Cake Recipe. Fall is one of our favorite times of the year in the Smoky Mountains. With the cooler temperatures comes the annual ap[Read More >>]