Highlands of Roan Mountain

Roan Mountain, TN, USA

VB
136 reviews
Jun 6, 2021
Group size: 4 - 10
Highlands of Roan Mountain
Roan Mountain, TN, USA

136 reviews

Jun 6, 2021
Group size: 4 - 10

About this trip

Widely known as a scenic attraction for well over a hundred years, Roan Mountain is now part of Pisgah National Forest. At 6,280 feet, the "bald" summit is the highest point of the Iron Mountains, which form a barrier between North Carolina and Tennessee. Spread along the ridge is Roan Mountain Gardens with 600 acres of Catawba rhododendron gardens and 850 acres of Fraser Fir and spruce. This natural garden on the crest of the mountain is usually in full bloom during the last two weeks of June. The unique blossoms of the Catawba Rhododendron are light red, pink and many shades of lavender. We can take a walk across Round Bald at Carver’s Gap, where there is a stunning group of over 75 spectacular flame azaleas, and if we are lucky we’ll see Gray’s Lily, a species endemic to the Southern Appalachians.

In addition to the varied plant life, there are such high altitude birding treats as the Alder Flycatcher, Red Crossbill, Hermit Thrush, Veery, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Winter Wren, Chestnut-sided and Canada Warblers and Brown Creeper.


Due to the altitude of over 6,000 feet we may expect much cooler weather than in the foothills. The winds blowing up the mountain become chilled as they reach the higher elevations and may form fog and drizzle. The plants thrive under these conditions, but we should come prepared with a jacket or sweater and a rain jacket or umbrella--just in case. Sadly, we’ll also see first-hand evidence of the devastation of the Fraser Firs by the wooly balsam adelgid; a very sobering sight.

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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