The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Craggy Pinnacle overlook and endangered plant habitat


By lauram


I went up to Craggy Pinnacle yesterday, off the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. It’s famous for its 360 degree views and also for the many threatened plants that grow there. The National Park Service has actually recommended closing the trail entirely and rerouting it up to Craggy Dome due to the damage done by visitors who refuse to obey the laws, going off trail and damaging and picking plants.

Craggy Pinnacle is a heath bald. From “Wildflower and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont”:

“Heath balds are dense shrublands that grow at mid- to high-elevations on exposed peaks, on narrow, sharp ridged and on adjacent slopes with rocky, acidic soils…Up close, the vegetation is anything but smooth, often consisting of a tangled mass of branches that makes off-trail hiking nearly impossible. A striking feature of this community is its low species diversity: a typical heath bald has just 10-20 vascular plant species, mostly shrubs belonging to a single plant family, the heath family.”

Most of Craggy Pinnacle is covered by Catawba rhododendron.

There’s a lot of signage asking visitors to respect the environment, but I saw so many people off-trail, picking at plants. It was infuriating.

Mountain angelica.

White snakeroot.

Mountain holly.

Typical “ferns on steroids” – big and abundant. I think these are mountain wood ferns.

More blog posts by lauram

Previous post: Asheville Botanical Gardens, part 2

Next post: Fall hike #1: Blood Mountain, Georgia



And more memories of our trip thank you Lauram.

11 Aug, 2012


Thanks for the memorable trip

11 Aug, 2012


Very enjoyable. never seen pictures of that area before

11 Aug, 2012


Thank you Lauram. Hopefully there will be areas the visitors dont see .

12 Aug, 2012


Thanks for the trip you shared with us.

12 Aug, 2012

Add a comment

Recent posts by lauram

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    26 Sep, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Jul, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Mar, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008