Flower Hill: Hiking Conservancy Trails

When we're in the mountains, we head to Pisgah National Forest or spots along the Blue Ridge Parkway for a hike. Here in eastern NC, we head to Croatan National Forest or any state park. But KT, the co-moderator of CarolinasAdventures, recently reminded us we're missing overlooked gold mines throughout the state: trails located in lands belonging to nature conservancies.

I'm just getting introduced to these organizations, so I can't go into great detail about them. I do know nature conservancies do what their name implies, and they do so by acquiring land. Last year, we purchased A Guide to Nature Conservancy Projects in North Carolina, and we sometimes refer to that book for outing ideas. However, KT informed us regional conservancies exist as well by recommending one of Triangle Land Conservancy's projects, Flower Hill.

Unaware a newly constructed parking lot sits beside the trailhead, we parked alongside the road and trudged through the woods, up one of the few rolling hills in the coastal plain.

The hike through Flower Hill is short, but we managed to make it longer with frequent stops to examine a variety of plant life along the predominantly dirt path. KT had hoped to show us a forest blooming with Catawba rhododendron—the reason TLC purchased the land—but we missed the peak—bloom season. The blossoms we spotted were enough, though, since this species usually grows in or near the mountains. (See Update below slideshow.) Below are a few images from our trip.

UPDATE (April 2011)

Spring rolled around, and a member of CA reported sighting of rhodos at Flower Hill. Naturally, we jumped in the car and headed up the road. And what a sight we saw. I took pictures from several angles, but still couldn't capture the number of blooms growing along the slope. Here, in eastern North Carolina.

For more info on the Triangle Land Conservancy, go to


Teresa said...

I really love the way you did the slide show of the pictures. Thank you for the info about the Nature Conservancy, that was great.

Kimberli said...

Thanks! I'm glad I could help. Thanks for stopping by!

Julie said...

Lovely! I need to learn more about the Nature Conservancy, so this is great. Yes, any links are always appreciated. I wanted to send you some pictures of Beaver Dam Lake, but we've got to go back next weekend. Thanks for the info. This is awesome.

Kimberli said...

You're welcome! We hiked another TLC site this past weekend, a place called White Pines. It's located off 15-501 between Sanford and Pittsboro. I'll cover it in this week's post.