Early summer is a great time to go hiking. The weather is not too hot yet, and the trails are full of flowers. We like going to the NC Arboretum property, as it has a number of trails, and none are very strenuous. Recently, the Arboretum opened up a few trails again after weeks of being mostly closed. The number of people allowed inside is very limited, and there are only two parking areas open at trailheads. This past week, the buildings were all closed, and they were working on resurfacing the main parking area. We got there early one morning, and drove to the farthest area near the greenhouse. We have not hiked this area before, usually we go to the gardens then do the trails near the Baker Center.
At the trailhead, huge banks of mountain laurel were blooming profusely.
These were pure white, just lovely, and well populated with pollinators.
On another part of the trail, the pink variety was also in bloom. Sorry this pic is a bit off, the camera focused on the leaf instead of the flower and I couldn’t see that in the bright sunshine. But, you can see the pink stars in the flower.
The trail led up a hillside, with handrails for the entrance to this part. Two trails cross here.
This side led upward, nicely maintained and easy to follow.
Along the path, signs pointed out various tree types.
I kept noticing this low plant with lots of white buds.
Farther down, one had opened up. I think it is a Partridge Berry, and will have little red berries in the fall. We might have to come back just to see if they do.
Here and there, small streams flow gently over rocks.
Looking up, a canopy of green. I pause just to take it in. Once again, I feel the restorative effect of shinrinyoku, literally taking a “forest bath”, being in this light. Birdsong surrounds us, we are alone on the trail.
Small things capture my attention, like the various colors of green in the moss.
The glow of sunlight on a white Lizard’s Tail flower catches my eye.
I came down some steps leading off the trail, then turned around to get a photo of them. The stacked stones have a natural beauty, conveying a sense of age and permanence.
The steps led to an alcove, with a stacked stone bench in dappled shade to sit and enjoy the forest.
Moving on, more mountain laurel was blooming.
A small clearing held masses of slender goldentop, a variety of aster.
Each one is a bouquet of bright yellow flowers.
Elsewhere, stands of mixed wildflowers kept the butterflies busy.
A white dogwood was covered with flowers, like it was dusted in powdered sugar.
Pretty. Our dogwood at the edge of the meadow has bloomed too.
We had a nice long hike, so welcome after weeks of staying at home. We weren’t able to do much hiking last year due to my knee issues, but the physical therapy has done the job. Now, I can again get out and enjoy our beautiful part of the country. We plan to do a lot more hiking this summer, staying near home as travel isn’t appealing right now.
We will be going again this coming week as they just opened up a bit more with the Baker Center opening this week for restrooms, and the more formal garden areas to walk for Phase 2. The Arboretum blog just posted about how they do their Quilt Garden, Quilting With Flowers, and it is pretty interesting reading. You can see my previous posts showing the Quilt Garden at A Quilt Garden and Making Scents.
Are you getting out in nature? Are your parks opening up?
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28 thoughts on “Hiking at the Arboretum”
Oh, Carole! One of my favorite spots! Love the patchwork garden in bloom! If we were there year round, I would be there weekly! Lucky you to be so close by!
This sure makes me want to go camping and hiking in the state parks!
Your hiking area looks lovely. We live on 150 acres of woods, meadows, ponds and rushing mountain streams. My husband made trails years ago all over our place and he walks regularly. Hopefully, after my knee surgeries, I can walk the trails again. So nice to get out and see the woods come alive with blossoms. Thanks for the tour!!
What a beautiful hiking trail. Our usual walking trail in a local preserve has been way too busy with walkers, joggers and bikers lately so we are just walking around our neighborhood. Not quite as satisfying.
that looks like the kind of trail that I love! I hope it wasn’t too hot but at least it looks like it was mainly in the shade – I love trails with up and down and stone staircases and benches to sit and rest
Thanks for the hike Carole. I thoroughly enjoyed it and didn’t even find myself short of breath. lol We have Morton’s Arboretum not far from us, and it’s beautiful as well. We used to go there with some friends of ours, back when we could all walk without any problems, but such is not the case anymore. I will look forward to next Sunday, after you’ve been back there, in another area. Enjoy your week Carole.
I’ve visited the NC Arboretum twice while staying with friends in Ashville, but it’s always in March and not much is blooming yet. While there are plenty of hiking trails around here, I don’t use them. I’d have to go alone since my husband can’t mange them, so I just don’t make the effort. Meanwhile today I need to plant the rest of my annuals while the temperature stays in the 60’s. Back to the 90’s on Tuesday.
So beautiful, Carole! I enjoyed your hike! We were able to do that, too, a couple days ago, up in Rocky Mountain National Park. All the green, the bird sounds, wildflowers, the sound of the river – really great to experience it again!
Carole, being outdoors and hiking is a balm to the soul. Mountain laurel is so pretty, I think their blooms are stunning. Happy Sunday!
What a beautiful and serene place…so good for the soul!
Living in the desert, seeing your stroll thru the park makes me homesick for the trees, flowers and bushes. Thanks for such a treat!
Thank you for the lovely walk, I can almost smell the flowers, very poetic. A Quilt Garden – went to the website to see how that is done, AMAZING. Our Arboretum is limited access, reserve space and time. So I really enjoyed your tour.
Enjoyed the hike, thank you for taking me along 🙂
So lovely! It’s kind of you to share your beautiful photos. I’m glad you have such a marvelous place to visit, since you will be situated near home for awhile.
Refreshing, safe, cool, and lovely shadows, those stone steps and a curved seat, this would have been such a wonderful outing.
A beautiful place to hike, you are so lucky. Thanks for the pictures. Your area is on our bucket list to visit next year.
What a lovely hike! I enjoyed it from my easy chair.
So beautiful and so different from AZ. Enjoy for me!
Just beautiful, so glad to see you able to hike again! We will be out, but not until the pine and spruce are done pollinating. DH has become highly allergic, so now isn’t much fun, but later…😍.
So nice to see you can get out and hike again Carole, so many lovely plants and flowers, Hopefully we all appreciate them more after being confined to home for so long.
I have been along the local Rail Trail looking for geocaches, still have the hand sanitiser after finding a cache, last time I went there were a few people riding bikes.
Wow that is a gorgeous park! Mountain Laurel is our state flower. Our parks are opening up but this weekend I decided to let the crowds do what they may and maybe try next weekend!
Carole, have you ever been to the Bullington Gardens in Hendersonville? I just found out that my Granddaddy’s half brother, Bob and Sally Bullington, retired from New York to North Carolina. Maybe in the 50’s or 60’s. When they passed they had no children and left their money to a garden club for this garden. When safe travels are permitted my husband and I plan on taking a road trip there.
I am a friend and neighbor of Deb Devo with Food and Fiber Floozies and live in Sun City Carolina Lakes in Indian Land, South Carolina. I met you at Foust and had lunch with you and your friends.
Oh how beautiful, what a treat!
What a beautiful walking trail…so peaceful!
Thank you for sharing your woodland walk. I understand exactly what you by the restorative effects of standing beneath trees, taking in the dappled sunlight and listening to the birds. Last week my husband and I took a walk through the woods and farmland that surround our town. It was just beautiful and felt so good to be out for half a day.
Some gardens are beginning to open again as lock-down measures are eased. The National Trust gardens have an on-line ticketing arrangement to keep numbers of people at a lower than usual number.
Looks like a lovely area. Great to have such good hikes.
I think it would be lovely to be within a mile or two and hike those trails every day for exercise. =)
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