Highlands of Roan Mountain

Roan Mountain, TN, USA

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

103 reviews

Jun 6 - 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
103 reviews
Small travel company based in Asheville, NC, specializing in birding & nature tours both locally & worldwide.

Reviews

Despite threatening weather, we warbler lovers all decided to take the risk and proceed. We got in about two hours of biding, and had great views of our primary target, the golden winged warbler (one even posed on a bare snag for us!). Beside the usual suspects, there were several other sightings, including Orchard Orioles, red eyed and blue headed vireos, barn swallows, my first chimney swifts of the year, rose breasted grosbeaks, and an American redstart. We also heard hooded, black and white, and yellow warblers, yellow breasted chat and meadowlarks. We traveled on up Max Patch Road, but were done in by the steady stream of DOT gravel-filled dump trucks and a road grader disturbing the peace and eventually the arrival of heavy rain. However, our gung-ho crowd still enjoyed ourselves. The Max Patch Road area was so beautiful, with all the blooming spring flowers and rushing streams, it was great to just get out. Kevin Burke, our expert leader, also offered us another local day trip as recompense, and I chose the Mt. Mitchell trip with Simon Thompson in June, one of my very favorite trips. You can’t do better than bird with Ventures Birding!
By Toni M for Spring Warbler Workshop, Max Patch 21 on 13 May, 2021
Very nice trip, got 9 lifers. Aaron went out of his way to meet the needs of all participants. I was able to ride down and return with Aaron, in addition to the daily trips with him. Outstanding service. Alan
By Alan's Email L for Southeastern NC Hotspots - Spring on 05 May, 2021
This Green River Game Lands 2 offered a variety of habitats, elevations and therefore wonderful opportunities to see a variety of birds. Walks were short, yet very rewarding to hear and see birds in their natural settings. Highly recommend!
By Claudia A for Green River Game Lands 2 on 04 May, 2021
Great trip. Kevin Knows his stuff.
By Howard B for Henderson County, NC - County Birding on 03 May, 2021
We had a great time! Kevin knows his birds and always made sure that we saw them. His enthusiasm, knowledge and patience will bring us back!!
By Leigh F for Henderson County, NC - County Birding on 03 May, 2021
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