The mountains of North Carolina are a sight to be seen in the springtime. Since we have so many protected forests and wildernesses, wildflowers bloom in abundance. This makes the areas in and around Asheville the perfect way to break out of that cabin fever. If you’ve been waiting all winter to get outside, now is the time! The wildflowers are in bloom, and these are our five favorite places to check them out:
Just south of Asheville lies a beautiful spring trail where you can take in multiple gorgeous waterfalls in one hike! Located in the Dupont State Forest, the Triple Falls trail is just a half-mile hike from the Hooker Falls parking area, and you get spectacular views of the falls, as well as all the spring foliage that comes along with it. And if Triple Falls just isn’t enough, keep hiking two miles past the Triple Falls Picnic Shelter. There, you’ll find High Falls, a 150-foot cascading fall that crashes down exposed rock. This hike offers all kinds of options for any level of experience.
Just 15 minutes from downtown Asheville, Craven Gap Trail is a quick and easy way to take in some of those beautiful wildflowers on a Saturday afternoon. Part of the Mountains-to-Sea trail, you could continue on this trail all the way across North Carolina if you wanted. For a day trip, we’re very fond of this two-mile stretch to Bull Gap, especially in the spring. On your hike, you’ll probably catch a whiff of the wild mountain mint as you pass large passes of violets, azaleas, and robin trillium. At just two miles, it’s the perfect length for a casual weekend hike. You’ll find the trailhead just north of milepost 377.4 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
If you’re excited to see the wildflowers, but want to see a waterfall too, the Douglas Falls Trail is a perfect choice. A 70-foot fall, Douglas Falls is wide enough that you can actually walk behind it, so long as you’re careful of the slippery rocks. On your way to the falls, you’ll see all different types of wildflowers in bloom, as the falls are located in the Big Ivy Area of the Pisgah National Forest. If you’re out for a leisurely trip, make sure to explore around the base of the waterfall, there are all kinds of pools and flowers to check out, and it also makes an excellent place to stop for a picnic. To get to the trailhead, take I-26 W to Exit 15 for Jupiter/Barnardsville. Make a right at the exit, and drive for six miles until you get to Dillingham Road on your right. Take Dillingham until it turns into a gravel road. At the end of the gravel road is the parking area for the trailhead. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for Walker Falls on your drive to the trailhead: it’s right near the road.
This is an awesome hike if you’re looking for more vista views of wildflowers. The unique landscape of Graveyard Fields makes it easy to see wide patches of wildflowers blooming all around you. The areas are large and open, great for pictures, but the trail also takes you past both Lower and Upper Falls. In the spring, Graveyard Fields is home to all of your favorite Blue Ridge native wildflowers like honeysuckle, bellflower, asters, galax, bluets, and so much more. In the summer, the area is home to all kinds of wild blueberries and blackberries. To get to the Graveyard Fields trailhead, take the Blue Ridge Parkway to Milepost 418.8. You should be able to see the parking area and signs for the trail clearly.
North Carolina is home to some pretty unique wildflowers, one of which is called the “swamp pink.” It’s a very rare flower that only grows in a few boggy areas in the Southern Appalachians. Luckily, one of those areas is right in our little valley in the Pisgah National Forest. For a look at these rare members of the lily family, head to a spot called Pink Beds in late spring. A fairly level trail, this is a great one for less experienced hikers, and it gives you the opportunity to check out far more native flowers than just the swamp pink. You’ll also see all sorts of mountain laurel and rhododendron, not to mention beaver dams and rippling creeks. To get to the trailhead, take US 276 N into Pisgah National Forest for about 11 miles. You should see the signed parking area on your right as you drive in.
Can’t get enough of the great outdoors surrounding Asheville? Why not move here? The Sovereign Oaks mountain community is perfectly situated in the foothills right near downtown Asheville. When you choose a home at Sovereign Oaks, you’ll be surrounded by the quiet, beautiful nature of the North Carolina wilderness, with all of the perks of downtown Asheville just minutes away. For more information about our community, give our office a call at 866-936-5263 or request more info online today!