Home to some of the East Coast’s most best scenery, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a tourist attraction that stuns its visitors with breathtaking views. Amidst the Blue Ridge Mountains are the Craggy Gardens, a flora-covered mountain range. Hiking, picnicking and stargazing are all popular things to do in the Craggy Gardens. If you’re in the area and want an unforgettable outdoors experience, then head to the Craggy Gardens! We’ve listed some of the best things to below.
Enjoy the Beautiful Flowers
Despite the Craggy Gardens being a mountain range, they’re called “gardens” for a reason. A wide range of plants, both common and rare, populate the Craggies. Rhododendron of multiple varieties cover the mountains, according to visitblueridgeparkway.com. In the winter, the Craggy Gardens transform into a beautiful frozen landscape, as shown as in this video from romanticasheville.com. The plant life becomes an icy garden! Picnicking is also a popular activity here, and who wouldn’t, when surrounded by mountains and flowers like these?
Hiking the Craggy Gardens
You don’t need to be a seasoned backpacker to hike the trails at the Craggy Gardens! The hikes are short and offer beautiful views of the surrounding area at the top.
The Craggy Pinnacle Trail is one of the more popular trails here, and measures just over a mile, round trip. Start at either the Visitor’s Center or the Picnic Area, and enjoy the overlook at the top.
For a longer hike, try the Douglas Falls Trail. It’s a 4 mile one way to reach Douglas Falls, but the trip is worth it.
There are several other trails in the area, including the Craggy Gardens and Snowball Mountain trails. The Mountain-to-Sea trail also runs the area. Click here to learn more about hiking in the area.
Thanks to an unrestricted view of the sky, the Craggy Gardens provide visitors with excellent stargazing. Imagine a calm, quiet summer night, with nothing but the endless expanse of stars above you!
Explore the Surrounding Area
The Craggy Gardens are only an hour from Asheville, making for convenient day trips to the Craggies. Asheville is an exciting mountain city, home to artists, musicians and some of the best food and beer in the area.
If you don’t get your fill of hiking, keep travelling another 13 miles to Mount Mitchell State Park. Hikers, take note: Mount Mitchell is the highest peak on the East Coast, so come prepared! You can read more about Mount Mitchell on our blog.
The Craggy Gardens are located in the Pisgah National Forest, which in and of itself is a sight to see. This massive forest covers hundreds of thousands of acres, and includes a wealth of hiking trails, camping spots, wildlife and more!
The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant
Located less than an hour from Asheville in Chimney Rock, NC, The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant is a beautiful getaway, perfect for those both new and native to the area. Surrounded by Western North Carolina beauty and brimming with rustic appeal, a stay at The Esmeralda is a relaxing, romantic experience that you won’t soon forget. View our cozy rooms and specials, or check out what Chef Polo is serving at The Esmeralda Restaurant. Contact us today, and start planning your Western North Carolina vacation with our free Chimney Rock vacation guide!