Birding the Craggies & Black Mountains

Asheville, NC, USA

VB
136 reviews
May 30, 2021
Group size: 4 - 10
Birding the Craggies & Black Mountains
Asheville, NC, USA

136 reviews

May 30, 2021
Group size: 4 - 10

About this trip

The Blue Ridge Parkway winds through the Appalachian Mountains from Virginia into North Carolina, skirting the southern end of the Black Mountains, weaving through the Craggies, the Pisgahs, the Balsams, and ending in the Great Smokies. We visit various locations in the Blue Ridge Mountains, studying the natural history of the area at different elevations from the foothills to the top of Mt. Mitchell (at 6,684 feet, the tallest peak in the eastern United States). At the higher elevations the mountains are cloaked with spruce-fir and northern hardwood forests mixed with heath balds of Catawba rhododendron and mountain laurel.


Mt. Mitchell rises from the Blue Ridge Parkway to an altitude of 6,684 feet -- the tallest peak in the eastern United States. Its vegetation is divided into hardwood forest, which covers the mountain below 4,500 feet, and coniferous spruce-fir forest which blankets the remaining higher elevations. Mt. Mitchell State Park encompasses 1,469 acres of predominantly Red Spruce and Fraser Fir woodland, and the life associated with this vegetation is northern in its character. 

Typical breeding birds of the higher elevations include Common Raven, Brown Creeper, Dark-eyed Junco, Winter Wren, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Northern Saw-whet Owl. Hermit Thrush and Red Crossbill can be found as well. The Appalachian race of the hardy Northern Flying Squirrel, closely related to the more familiar Southern Flying Squirrel of lower elevation broad-leaved woodlands, also occurs at this elevation. 

What’s included

  • 1 birding guide
  • Lunch
  • Transportation

Your Organizer


VB
Ventures Birding Tours
136 reviews
Small travel company based in Asheville, NC, specializing in birding & nature tours both locally & worldwide.

Reviews

I had a great time. Michael Plauche is an excellent birder and guide, and is very pleasant to spend time with. Communication with him and with Ventures Birding was excellent.
By Marcia M for Private Half Day Tours (2021) on 16 Oct, 2021
Enjoyed two outings with Aaron Steed at Ridge Junction this Fall - one in early September and one in late September to catch different migrants coming through. Both were spectacular. It is really cool to see mass quantities of warblers and hummingbirds flying over the ridge, many graciously stopping for the viewing pleasure of our groups. Aaron has a fabulous ear for the different types of birds, and can pick one special species out of a large flock. They were exciting and beautiful mornings as the sun came up over the ridge. Was so thankful for Aaron’s help in spotting and identifying a large variety of birds.
By Kathleen W for Spectacular Fall Migration 4 on 11 Oct, 2021
Kevin goes above and beyond to make sure everyones needs are met. He is flexible and low keyed. He does advances for the each trip. We tried many local (non-chain) restaurants and the food was superb. Maneuvering between wildfires and unexpected covid closures there was no disappointments. Could not have asked for a better group of fellow passengers. There was plenty of room within the vehicle which is important especially when you are dealing with your various pieces of equipment. Thank You again for a great trip. CSSR
By Christine S for Washington - Pacific Northwest Birding 2021 on 09 Oct, 2021
This trip included 6+ days of birding from morning to late afternoon visiting many birding hotspots in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. The pace was comfortable and the terrain very manageable, even Hawk Mountain. Simon Thompson, owner and guide, has experience world-wide, can spot and hear the most obscure bird, can ID birds by sight and/or sound and makes sure everyone is "on the bird" even when it is not a "lifer"! He is quick with the scope and binocular. In addition, he methodically submits a checklist for each birding area - 25 in all for this trip! The van was very comfortable and with large windows. Chris Jaquette was an excellent driver and also a master at providing delicious picnic lunches. Restaurant dinners were outside in comfortable temperatures. Cuisine each night was delicious and varied. We can hardly wait for our next trip with Ventures!
By Julia J for Hawk Mountain and Cape May on 08 Oct, 2021
Lots of warblers, Kevin knew every one!
By barbara r for Fall Warbler Workshop 2 on 05 Oct, 2021
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