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Location: Appalachian Road (08), In Pisgah National Forest N of Spruce Pine at Roan Gardens.
State(s): North Carolina
From Burnsville take 197 N to Red Hill, turn left towards Johnson City, TN (Hwy. 226N). Go 3 miles to Fork Mountain Rd. #1338; turn right and go to the end of the road. Turn left onto 261 N and follow 261 N to Carver's Gap. Follow the signs from there to the Gardens.
An easy , paved trail starts at the information cabin and winds through rhododendrons to and overlook. You can choose between a short, 0.3 mile loop or continue on a longer, figure-eight loop. The Cloudland Trail is a moderate, 1.2-mile hike from the end of the Cloudland parking area to a Roan High Bluff Overlook. The Appalachian Trail crosses Roan Mountain on its trek from Maine to Georgia.
Famous for its spectacular natural gardens of Catawba rhododendrons, Roan Mountain shelters a rich diversity of life, from spruce-fir forests to vast grassy balds.
Roan Mountain is actually not one mountain, but a high ridge about 5 miles long. It ranges from a height of 6,286 feet at Roan High Knob to a low of 5,500 feet at Carver’s Gap. No one knows the origin of the mountain’s name. Some claim the name refers to the roan or reddish color of the mountain when rhododendrons bloom in June or the mountain ash berries appear in September. Others say the name comes from Daniel Boone’s roan horse, because he and his horse were frequent visitors.
Width: 36 inches.
Primary Surface: Asphalt
Secondary Surface: Asphalt
Average Grade: 7%
Maximum Grade: 15%
Elevation Low Point: 6,168
Elevation High Point: 6,191
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available
Year Designated: 1980
Supporting Webpages and DocumentsWebsite: USFS Trail Details
For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.
Appalachian Ranger District
632 Manor Road
Mars Hill, NC 28754
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