You are surrounded by thousands of hanging branches that are draped in velvety pink blossoms. It’s as if you stepped into a whimsical fairy tale story. You take in the majesty and grandeur of the mountains and valleys that surround you. This is the real magic that the story books don’t tell you about.
Roan Mountain is home to the largest natural Rhododendron garden in the world. Every May and June in Roan Mountain, the rhododendron gardens come to life, bringing 600 acres of thousands of beautiful pink rhododendron blooms to life. There are also many other kinds of rare flowers that bloom, making this the most colorful time of the year to visit the Roan! The blooming of these Rhododendron gardens is such a special time of year in our county that we even have a festival every year to celebrate!
The Annual North Carolina Rhododendron Festival began in 1952 in Bakersville to celebrate the blooming of the rhododendron on the Roan. The festival brings many visitors from near and far to see the rhododendrons, but also to take part in the weekend of activities. The Rhododendron Festival features a NC Rhododendron Pageant, live music daily, a 10k race, a classic car show, food vendors, a crafts fair featuring local artists, kids activities, and not to mention the infamous nightly street dances on the main street in town. Be prepared to get a good dose of local culture while attending this festival as we will make you feel right at home! This festival is a must for your visit to Mitchell County and your summer bucket list.
Summer is not the only beautiful time to visit the Roan. A winter visit to Roan Mountain is perfect for those who are looking for a picture that is worth a thousand words, or for those just looking to take in a little adventure.
Roan Mountain is not only known for its spectacular Rhododendron gardens, but also for the many hiking trails and a portion of the legendary Appalachian Trail. Roan Mountain has trails of various difficulty and lengths, so whether you are on a leisurely stroll through the gardens or you are an experienced hiker looking for adventure, Roan Mountain is the destination for you.