June 1, 2012. Grandfather Mountain staff naturalists can’t wait to share their excitement for the showy rose-lavender Catawba Rhododendron that blooms its way up Grandfather’s slopes throughout the month of June. Join them for the Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble and special programs June 2-17 designed to help you get the most out of this memorable sight.
The Catawba Rhododendron is abundant all across Grandfather Mountain, from MacRae Meadows at 4,300 feet in elevation to MacRae Peak at 5,845 feet in elevation. Because the shrub abounds across this broad range of elevations, its purple flowers can be enjoyed at each successive elevation. The first blooms appear at the lower overlooks in late May and the display will arrive at the Swinging Bridge by the end of June.
“We’ll more or less follow the rhododendrons up the mountain,” said Grandfather Mountain Naturalist and program instructor Steven Senter.
For the program, naturalists will take guests around the mountain to learn about the Rhododendron blooms and the history and biology of the plants on the mountain.
The Rhododendron Ramble kicks off a summer of daily programs at Grandfather Mountain. Senter said that snake, owl and ecology programs are next.
Join Grandfather Mountain staff at 1 p.m. each day to participate in special programs and activities that celebrate this herald of summer. All programs and guided walks are included in the price of admission. For details, phone 800-468-7325.
Grandfather Mountain is located at 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville.