"How can names like Craggy Gardens, Craggy Dome, and Craggy Pinnacle not be magnets for hikers? Visible from almost any corner of northwest North Carolina, these barren crests of the Craggy Mountains offer awesome views. The Craggies’ seemingly alpine, treeless environment is a one- of-a-kind ecosystem, and Craggy Gardens is one of the best places to experience the Southern balds.
The balds come in two varieties—grassy and heath. Grassy balds may be best exemplified by the meadow- covered crest of Roan Mountain, on the North Carolina–Tennessee state line west of the Parkway There are grassy balds atop the Craggies, but you’ll also see heath balds—extensive crests covered in rhododendron, mountain laurel, blueberries, and other plants of the heath community. The mountaineers called them “slicks,” and “hells,” which you would readily understand if you ever tried to bushwhack through one."