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Roan Mountain State Park encompasses 2,006 acres of southern Appalachian forest at the base of 6,285 foot Roan Mountain. Park elevation ranges from 3,000 feet in the valley to around 3,700 feet on surrounding ridges. Rich hardwood forests allow for a great diversity of life and a wide range of outdoor activities. Park guests have opportunities to hike along creeks and ridges, fish for trout, play tennis, swim, tour a century old farmhouse, join rangers and naturalists for educational programs, and enjoy mountain music concerts. Wildflowers and wildlife inhabit the hollows and ridges of the Roan foothills in abundance. From Dutchman's-breeches to deer, trillium to turkeys and bee balm to black bears there is always something to discover. Guests who wish to stay overnight have a choice of RV and tent camping or fully equipped AAA cabins. The Appalachian Trail and famous Rhododendron Gardens of Roan Mountain can be accessed at Carver's Gap, an 8 mile drive from the park. A naturalist is on hand year round to provide programs for visitors to the park and special groups.

NOTE: This is the other side of the AT away from the balds. Features: High Knob, Cloudland Hotel remains, High Bluffs, and also the rhododendron gardens if you take a detour before the bluffs. It was hard to find the AT from Carvers Gap. We just walked in the woods passed the restroom and found it. luckily most everyone was hiking the balds on the AT in the opposite direction. It was very lightly trafficked until you we got to the Cloudland hotel where people can get on from the parking lot. The highest point on Roan Mountain is on High Knob at the AT shelter big rocks before the hotel remains. Very well maintained trail but not clear when you are at High Knob. The High Bluff overlook was stunning.

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer.

At the end of the trail is a platform looking primarily north with a 180 degree view. Composition is the “endless mountains” with many ridge lines fading to infinity. The only thing missing is a strong foreground element although there are some nice rocks to the left Please see my photos to judge if the composition is something you like.

I’m not sure if it’s a good sunset location and hope to visit another time to evaluate.

Gorgeous views the entire way. Super easy trail to follow, right before Jane Bald it is a bit of a climb. Lots of people on this trail though.

Great balds with fantastic views. The most beautiful place I have been so far.

Absolutely beautiful! Will repeat again soon.

Busy on a summer Saturday.

one of the most beautiful backpacking trips ever!

hiking
20 days ago

Trail lived up to its name. Because, it was entirely in the clouds. Was a super easy hike. Some parts had asphalt. Your walk is rewarded at the end by an amazing lookout. Along the way you’ll experience some very unique flora and fauna. Parking and trail access is excellent. It was a Monday morning and we had the trail to ourselves. There is an overlook right after start of trail to the right that is a short walk and nice view.

Great 360 degree views from the balds. Three unique surroundings- balds, thick wooded areas, and old forest.

Best hike I've ever done in 40 plus years of being alive.
Time this hike around rhododendron and azalea season in mid June and you'll say the same thing. From the start at Carver's Gap, the AT wastes little time in the WOW factor as the trail ascends the incredible Round Bald which is a haven for Catawba Rhodo's and azaleas. After a brief dip at Engine Gap, the AT ascends the smaller ,but equally beautiful Jane Bald. By the time you reach Grassy Ridge Bald your senses will be in overdrive.

After a section through wooded areas, the AT comes near the Overmountain Shelter, which is a must to check out, then a steep ascent Yellow Mountain, and then the grand finale-the awesome ascent up Little Hump and Big Hump mountains. Both are vast balds that have awesome, grand views from the top. The AT, after the Humps, descends the Roans down to Doll Flats through a knee shredder of steep rock steps and rooty surfaces.

It's just an epic hike that we plan on doing every June, and probably October. Wonderful views of Mount Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain and countless other peaks and ridges of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

This trail was filled with treasures! From the wildflowers to the 360 view, loved it!

Easy with a couple beautiful look outs!

Nice relatively easy hike up to Roan High Bluff platform and back to Carvers Gap (7.1 miles). In the clouds most of the hike but they did clear for about 30 sec at the top so you actually got a quick view of the valley. Will do again in the winter when there are open views and a lot less people. Carvers Gap parking was full and cars lined the road at 0915 in the morning on a cloudy Tuesday morning. Fortunately 98% of the crowd were hiking the bald side of the AT.

Hiked this section with my son two days ago. Challenging weather and conditions at times but well worth the unparalleled views from the grassy balds when the clouds disappeared. Be prepared as the weather can change in an instant and there is no cover on the balds if you are caught there. Shuttled from Mountain Harbor and would highly recommend this as part of your logistics if hiking point to point. Overall awesome and I will be back again sometime hoping for more consistent sun and perhaps when the rhododendrons are in bloom!

hiking
1 month ago

the trailhead for the full hike was difficult to find. parts of the trail are included in the high bluff trail, which basically walks along the road. the overlook is breathtaking though. it's a short hike but a really nice view.

Amazing section of the AT. Spent the night at Overmountain shelter with 20 thru hikers. awesome experience, rained the entire time and never saw a view.

Awesome trip, shuttled up to carvers gap and hiked back to the hostel. plan 15-17 actual miles if you are going to explore, check out the red barn, etc. makes a great overnight.

One of my favorite places. A beautiful hike for all seasons.

Definitely an amazing trail. Well worth going to. It had beautiful sunsets and amazing view because there were very few trees. It was an amazing place to bring a drone or backpack. Just has ridges that go on for miles and allow for good areas to have camp and fire pits in the rocks while besides it in a tent on soft grasses. Awesome place.

I love coming here.

I’ve hiked this section quite a few times and it never gets old. One of the most beautiful hikes in Eastern US in my opinion. Be prepared for any kind of weather.

hiking
2 months ago

Love this trail. When I went I only saw three or four other people along the entire trail. You can also connect to the Appalachian Trail and hike a lot farther. Makes for a great day all in all. Best of all, its dog friendly. Can't wait to go back when the rhododendrons are blooming!

Love it. Perfect time is now!

Great hike, 360 views for most of the trail. A must hit for SB6k.

A very short trail straight to the top of round bald. Very easy for children! Has a magnificent view once you summit. Bathrooms Are also easily accessible.

backpacking
3 months ago

Absolutely incredible trail. Stunning views, nice easy hike, and well marked paths. Incredible place to watch the sun rise and set. The wind along the bald can get pretty nasty, especially if a bit cold out, and watch out for the rain. The trails will turn into small streams. Plenty of parking at the trail-head, and one of the cleanest outhouses I've ever seen.

Spent the night at the shelter and had some challenging weather on our hike out to 19. Harbor hostel folks took great care of us with a fairly priced shuttle back to carvers. Should have at least a couple overnighters in before attempting this one IMO.

Beautiful views , diversified terrain with some pretty strenuous climbs .... 50 mile an hour winds on one of the peaks .... significant downhill section near end ... if you are looking for a hostel / bar / food at the end of this section try The Station at 19E , they really take care of hikers .

Easy hike and beautiful views. March 12 snow on the ground and met an AT trail through hiker that started February 20th and had a rough 4 weeks so far.

Perfect hike for any level hiker. The elevation can be tough at first. But your body adjust. Epic views in all directions. When the rhododendrons blooms it’s one of top spots on East Coast. Photographers travel from around the world for this event.

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