20 Mar 2020
Mountain Laurel Chalets loves wildflowers.
In fact, we love them so much that we’re named after one! As spring hits the Smokies, the wildflowers begin to bloom and bring life back into the mountains. Along various trails, different species of indigenous plants and wildflowers attract nature-lovers, botanists, and wildflower enthusiasts to the trails to appreciate the beauty that is sprouting through the soil. These trails with the best viewing of the spring wildflowers include, Andrews Bald, Porters Creek Trail, Schoolhouse Gap and Spence Field. There are many other trails that offer prime viewing of your favorite flowers which can all be found here.
However, for those who wont or can’t hike these trails have the option to view these beautiful wildflowers from the comfort of your own vehicle. Several roads within the national park provide fantastic views of these colorful flowers. These roads include:
Little River Road
The paved, winding, and scenic 17 mile route runs between the Sugarlands Visitor Center and the Townsend “Y” (near the Townsend Entrance to the park). The plants that can be found there include fringed phacelila, columbine, bloodroot, fire pink, red bud, flowering dogwood, wild geranium, yellow trillium, and white trillium.
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
To access Roaring Fork, turn off the main parkway in Gatlinburg, TN at traffic light #8 and follow Historic Nature Trail Road to the Cherokee Orchard entrance to the national park. This paved, steep, narrow, winding one-way road is 5 miles long and in addition to wildflowers, visitors can also explore historic grist mills, log homes, farmsteads, and waterfalls.
Clingmans Dome Road
Continue up the mountain to Newfound Gap and follow the signs to Clingmans Dome. This road will lead you to the summit of Clingmans Dome where amazing views of the Great Smoky Mountains will add to the backdrop of the various plants in bloom. Some examples of types of plant you’ll find on the way include, service-berry, fire cherry, silverbell, fringed phacelia, trout-lily, thyme-leaved bluets, and spring-beauty.
So next time you’re driving through the park, keep your eye out for these spring time favorites and please be safe and courteous to other drivers by using the pullouts along roadways.