On this week’s trip come long with us as we explore the Pink Beds Loop Trail located in the Cradle of Forestry. This is an awesome spot for birding, as well as plant study. Surrounded by rare bogs and unique vegetation, there is much to see.While this trail was once named by settlers because there was an abundance of pink blooms from local plants that were visible from the surrounding mountain side. Since that time, the area has been reforested, and while there isn’t an abundance of pink flowers now, you’ll still find beautiful Mountain Laurel, Rhododendrons and other varieties of pink flowers.
At the end of this hike we ended up totaling 7.2 miles, it’s an easy walk that filled with so many interesting sites. You’ll pass by large pine trees, rare mountain bogs, and unique vegetation. Each section of this trail has something different to offer.
While going along the south side of the loop, you’ll follow the headwaters of the South Fork Mills River. There you’ll often find yourself crossing boardwalks with lots to see such as beaver dams, fish, and a variety of wildlife and different plants.
Once you reach the North side of the trail, you’ll find yourself surrounded by beautiful fields and views of mountain ridges. Parts of the trail are even surrounded by mountain laurel and rhododendrons.
While the mountain laurel and rhododendrons were just starting to bloom, there were still so many beautiful plants to look out, birds to watch, and so much more. The kids took pictures throughout the hike and came home and researched all the different plants we ran across on the trail.
Recommended resources for additional learning:
Birds of the Carolinas Field Guide, Second Edition: Companion to Birds of the Carolinas Audio CDsTrees of the Carolinas Field Guide (Tree Identification Guides)Wildflowers of the Carolinas Field Guide (Wildflower Identification Guides)
This trip was without a doubt an awesome learning experience.