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“Rhododendrons are beautiful in June”

Roan Mountain State Park
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Charleston SC
Level Contributor
219 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Rhododendrons are beautiful in June”
Reviewed 7 July 2014

We visited the gardens on the top where rhododendrons were in bloom. It is an easy walk around on wheelchair accessible path to enjoy the site. There is a wooden walkway overlooking these beautiful flowers and mountain ranges in the distance. There is also a forest much like you find in the Canadian Rockies. Great place to plan for a picnic lunch.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank wandotraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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192 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Greensboro, North Carolina
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Beautiful Place”
Reviewed 22 June 2014

The Rhododendron bloom was over everywhere on the mountain when we visited on June 21st, 2014, but it was still quite beautiful. Hiking around Carver's Gap there were a number of other wildflowers. Saw no overgrown paths and trash as were described in the review from June 16th.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Joel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
896 reviews
471 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 836 helpful votes
“Incomparable beauty, wonderful accommodations”
Reviewed 19 June 2014

I just read a previous review that called Roan Mountain State Park "such a disappointment." I can understand this review. If you don't know where to look for the vistas, rhododendruns, azaleas, butterflies and so many other wonders, you could easily walk for hours and see nothing.

We asked in advance at the Visitor's Center, and the attendant there drew on a map exactly where to go, and her guidance proved to provide us with one of the most unforgettable two days in terms of walking amidst natural beauty.

If you come at rhododendron time, as we did, you should park at Carver's Gap, as everyone does, but then walk beyond the initial area across the highway and go all the way to the end of Grassy Ridge. We were surprised that so few of the visitors did so. We were alone amidst a sea of rhodies, walking under them, around them and above them. There were more rhodies than one can possibly ever imagine.

The views from this path are also breathtaking, and we took many panorama photos. We also had many encounters with butterflies, mostly monarchs, and our camera never stopped clicking. We will enjoy these two days for many years to come.

Both days we hiked, each day a full six hours. It was so well worth the time and effort.

Our second day we parked again at Carver's Pass, but this time we did not cross the street, but instead hiked up to the top of Roan Mountain. Hint: one can drive all the way there, as almost everyone does. If you do, drive as far as you can, then park at the sign for the trail to Roan High Bluff. It's a half mile hike from there up to the top, but well worth it. The view from the observation platform, at 6200 feet, is stunning. Return to the car and go back to the Gardens. On our day, June 17, the blooms were at their height, and we spent two hours walking around there. Most visitors to the Gardens were senior citizens, so this tells you that the walk is an easy one. Once again, our camera was constantly clicking.

We stayed in one of the cabins at the State Park about 8 miles north. The cabin is a chalet, can sleep up to 6, and has a fully stocked kitchen. It costs $125 per night, and one needs to make reservations well in advance, as we did. The park visitor center and rangers are so helpful, and there are many hiking trails in the park itself. The campgrounds are fun to stroll around in the evening, as it fills up with dozens of families enjoying games, campfires and other activities.

This was an unforgettable experience, and we intend to go back next year. It is ideal not just for families, but also for a romantic getaway.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
7 Thank Anthony-Susan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hickory, North Carolina
Level Contributor
35 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Such a disappointment.”
Reviewed 19 June 2014

June 16, hardly any blooms visable,but lots of weeds,overgrown paths & trash. I wouldn't recommend anyone make that horribly long and curvy drive up there to see such a dismal place. We didn't stay there so I can't rate the cabin or campground. The pool looked clean with a lot of families in it.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank KandTtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Springfield, Tennessee
Level Contributor
849 reviews
552 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 669 helpful votes
“Beautiful mountain views”
Reviewed 17 June 2014

Tennessee has a lot of beautiful state parks and this is one of the most beautiful. I went to see the rhododendron bloom because in this area they are stunning when they bloom. Unfortunately I was two weeks too early for the blooms but the views are still magnificent. The campground is large and very nice. Seniors and military can camp for as little as $15 a night with water and electric. The old mine and mill are a nice attractions as well as the old homestead. The road to the park is a two lane that can get a bit windy in areas but is easy to negotiate. There are numerous activities for the whole family. To enjoy the rhododendron go the second to fourth week in June. When in bloom the mountains are alive with purple flower so thick they form tunnels on the trails. Not far from the park is the rhododendron gardens that set high on a mountain top often above the clouds.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Tennessee50plus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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