Nature & Science

A yellow and black striped butterfly on a pink azalea flower
A tiger swallowtail butterfly sips nectar from an azalea.

Harold Blackwood

Biological Diversity

The varied habitats along the Parkway, ranging from 649 feet at James River in Virginia to 6,047 feet at Richland Balsam in North Carolina, offer protection to an enormous diversity of plants and animals.

The Parkway supports as many plant species as any other unit of America's National Park System, and provides a protected migration corridor for many forms of wildlife. The variety of species includes

The mountain ranges of the Parkway are some of the oldest in the world. The road sits at the headwaters of many local and regional watersheds and crosses five major rivers that define the hydrological patterns of much of the southeastern United States.

Trees are everywhere; over 100 species! In spring, tulip trees and serviceberry produce showy blooms. In fall, mountainsides flame with color. Flowering shrubs such as rhododendron, flame azalea, and mountain laurel put on a springtime show that rivals the trees' fall display.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

199 Hemphill Knob Rd
Asheville, NC 28803

Phone:

(828) 348-3400
This number is the main park headquarters line. A recorded park information line at (828)298-0398 has the most updated information on facilities schedules, bloom and leaf information.

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