The Hiking Trail Hiding In North Carolina That Will Transport You To Another World
Hiding right on the North Carolina/Tennessee border is one of the most unique hiking trails in the state with mountain aesthetics you won’t find elsewhere in the Blue Ridge. Large, open fields expand across the tops of mountains lending a new experience and perspective while first, a dense hiking trail filled with trees and dangling cliffs is required to accomplish such a coveted view. If you’re seeking a one-of-a-kind hike this summer, Roan Mountain is the place to do it.
While not a single mountain, Roan Mountain is referred to as a 'massif,' or a small chain of mountains. The Roan Mountain chain spans five miles. Some say the name derives from Dan'l Boone's 'roan' or reddish horse. Others attribute the namesake to the abundant rhododendron blooms that overtake the scenery come early summer. Speaking of rhododendrons, planning a trip to Roan Mountain right now is your best bet to capture these beautiful blooms in person.
An easy option for starting your hike is the Roan Mountain Garden Trail. This paved trail loops you through small hills, elevated overlooks and breathtaking rhododendron gardens.
When you're ready to ascend the mountain, hop on the Cloudland Trail. If you include the Roan Garden Trail with this hike, your total roundtrip is around four miles, not too bad for a great day trip. The moderate hike is family-friendly and weaves you through breathtaking spruce-fir forests.
While you might be captivated by the otherworldly blooms and thick forests, keep your eyes on the prize. The reward for your hike? The Roan High Bluff. At 6,286 ft. it's the second highest peak on the massif.
Once you've reached the top, make sure to spend plenty of time taking in everything the beautiful mountain has to offer. Scenic views, wildflower and rhododendron blooms, wide open fields, and the perfect spot for a picnic or rest while you take in all the scenery.
Long summer days also make Roan Mountain the perfect place for catching a breathtaking sunrise or sunset. If you're really craving something epic, you can also take a five mile hike across the balds and through Roan Mountain. Traverse from Roan Bald to Jane Bald and then Grassy Ridge Bald. If you're still craving more, the Appalachian Trail intersects making this a stop-by destination for many backpackers.
Roan Mountain is the perfect place for a summer escape! Have you hiked here before?
Looking for other hiking trails to make the most of summer,
these ten easy hikes are moderate yet still offer amazing scenery.
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