Just north of Asheville, North Carolina is a winding mountain road, known for being one of the nation's most scenic drives. The Blue Ridge Parkway takes travelers high up into the Great Craggy Mountains, a subrange of the Blue Ridge Mountains touching the Carolinas, Virginia, and Tennessee.
The best views of the Craggies, named for their rocky crags and jagged cliffs, are seen by making a short trip up the Craggy Pinnacle Trail. The path, a roughly 1.5 mile hike to the overlook and back down again, leads to a series of rocky, exposed surfaces known as balds, perfect for taking in the breathtaking vistas. Rhododendrons line the scenic hiking route and form an enchanting tunnel of twisted, knobby branches in the off-season, guiding explorers up the mountain to the balds. In spring, travelers can see what makes the Craggy Gardens extra special: the show-stopping display of the pinks and reds of rhododendron bushes in full bloom along these high slopes.
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