Saturday, September 7, 2013

Blue Ridge Parkway: Craggy Gardens

After we left the Vance Birthplace we headed up into the mountains, again dodging runners (actually mostly walkers) making their way the mountains as well. Once we reached the Blue Ridge Parkway we headed north and made our way to the picnic area at Craggy Gardens. We found the Craggy Gardens/Mountains to Sea Trail at the far end of the picnic area parking lot and started hiking.
On the Trail
We slowly ascended our way up through deciduous trees
Craggy Gardens Trail
and goldenrods.
Eventually we found ourselves at some type of shelter or old barn.
Shelter and Craggy Pinnacle
We were a bit confused but found our way up to a grassy section of bald
Noelle on the Grassy Bald
with lots of great views of the surrounding mountains including nearby Craggy Pinnacle.
Contemplative Eric

Eventually our trail up on the bald dead-ended and we retraced our steps back to the shelter. We passed through the shelter and found a trail on the other side. This trail gently descended through a tunnel of rhododendron and mountain laurel
Noelle and Mountain Laurel Tunnel
down to the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center. We had thought we were on a loop trail, but this turned out not to be the case. From the visitor center we followed the trail back up to the shelter and then down to the parking area. It was a very nice, short hike. All three of us were in good spirits, in part due to the wonderful weather. Sierra also had lots of doggies to look at as there were lots of folks hiking with their dogs.
Sierra Reaches for the Camera

1 comment:

Eric McCarty said...

Great post Eric & Noelle! The Craggy Gardens section was closed up until about a week ago because of the infamous Blue Ridge Parkway crack. Glad your family was able to enjoy it.