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Field Trip: Cloudland Canyon Hotel Site/Rhododendron Gardens/Roan High Bluff

June 8 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

TNPS Conference registration is required to attend this fieldtrip!

Description: The high elevation hike (6,267’) will begin at the Cloudland Hotel site along the Appalachian Trail where we will botanize in the flowering fields. The next stop will be the Rhododendron Gardens where we should see some Catawba Rhododendron (Rhododendron catawbiense). Next we will drive along the gravel road and see the Roan Mountain Bluets (Houstonia purpurea var. Montanan) and Mountain Myrtle (Kalmia buxifolia). For those who want a slightly longer trip, we will continue on to Roan High Bluff Overlook (2.4 mile out and back) where we will enjoy amazing panoramic views of the mountains.

Meeting Places/Time: The trip will begin at Roan Mountain State Park at 1:00 pm at the pool parking lot where we encourage you to arrange carpools to the Gardens, as parking is limited. The cost to enter the area is $3.00 per passenger vehicle, payable with cash at feed tube at the entrance or via the online pay portal through this link at

Difficulty: The walk through the gardens is an easy .7 mile loop on a concrete path. Most of it is wheelchair accessible. The drive on the gravel road will require little to no walking. Walking through the Cloudland Hotel Site fields and the 2.4 mile out and back hike to Roan Mountain Bluff Overlook is rated easy to moderate. You can make this field trip as short as 1 mile and as long as 4 miles, depending on your preferences and physical ability.

Facilities: There are restrooms at the Rhododendron Gardens trailhead.

Lunch: If you buy a meal ticket, you will be provided a box lunch at the Conference Center before the field trip. There are picnic tables at the gardens if you prefer to eat your lunch there. Make sure to bring plenty of water for the duration of the field trip.

Leader: Ken Rea, a local area TNPS member with knowledge of the Appalachian flora.


June 8
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category: