If you and your dog want to go on a hike through a beautiful area filled with Catawba rhododendrons, check out the Roan Mountain Gardens Trail! This loop trail is a mile long and paved the whole way through, making it easy for pups to walk on. Dogs are welcome to join you on the trail on-leash.
The trail begins and ends at the Roan Mountain Gardens Parking Lot. Here, you’ll find restrooms and picnic tables. Drinking water is also available here.
Once you’re ready, you can head out onto the trail. The trail is busiest in mid to late June, when the rhododendrons around the trail are in bloom. This time of year, the trail is surrounded by bright purple flowers that fill the air with a snifftastic fragrance. As you walk on the trail, you’ll pass numerous raised platforms that provide great views of the rhododendron shrubs. But even if you don’t go when the rhododendrons are in bloom, there’s still plenty to see on this peaceful trail.
As you walk through the trail, you’ll pass 16 interpretive signs that provide information about the flora and fauna in the area. You’ll also pass through a peaceful meadow, and you’ll go into a lovely forest filled with spruce and fir trees. You might also see some of the area’s native wildlife as you’re hiking, including Northern flying squirrels, cottontail rabbits, saw-whet owls, and weasels. If you’d like to have lunch or a snack with your dog after your hike, dogs are welcome to join you at the picnic tables near the trailhead.
The Roan Mountain Gardens Trail is a beautiful trail that’s home to fields of stunning flowers. Bring some doggy bags with you so you can clean up after your dog while you’re hiking, and have a pawsitively amazing time hiking on this trail!
Shade is limited on some portions of the Roan Mountain Gardens Trail. Because of that, it’s a good idea to bring extra water with you on your hike. Also, be aware that black bears and bobcats live in the Roan Mountains. Be on the lookout for these animals as you’re hiking.