Wednesday
Aug012012

Craggy Gardens

Description

The mix of hardwood forest, mountain bald, and spruce/fir forest along this section of the Blue Ridge Parkway is home to a variety of breeding songbirds from May through September. At Milepost 367.6 turn onto the road leading to the Craggy Gardens picnic area. Walk along the road from the Parkway to the roundabout and watch for Veery, Winter Wren, Blue-headed Vireo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, Chestnut-sided, and Canada Warblers. In fall, this road is usually a great place to see migrating songbirds such as Cape May, Tennessee, Bay-breasted, and Palm Warblers. At the roundabout, follow the Mountains-to-Sea Trail or the trail to Snowball Mountain and watch for Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, and Common Raven. Continue driving north on the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Craggy Visitor Center at Milepost 364.5. From the Visitor Center, follow the Craggy Gardens Trail through the heath bald to the Craggy Gardens picnic area. Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Blue and Canada Warblers are all common. Veery and Hermit Thrush can also be heard along the trail. Watch for Broad-winged Hawk and Common Raven overhead. During the fall migration, Sharp-shinned Hawk can be seen hunting for songbirds.

Species of Interest (Full Bird List)

Common Raven, Brown Creeper, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Canada Warbler

Special Features/Concerns

Sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway are often closed during the winter months due to snow and ice. Other temporary closures may occur following storms as a result of hazardous road conditions. It is best to check our website to get current road conditions (http://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm). The use of tapes to attract birds is prohibited.

Access and Parking

The site is open daily, except during Parkway closures. Parking is available at designated overlooks. The Craggy Visitor Center opens in mid-to-late April, from 10am to 4pm (with port-a-johns); 9am to 5pm, May - October (with restrooms).

Directions

Access the Blue Ridge Parkway from one of the several access points in Asheville and head north approximately 18 miles to the Craggy Gardens Picnic Area (Milepost 367.6) or the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center (Milepost 364.5).

Google Directions

Delorme Gazetteer Page

31, 32

Bird List

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