Monday, May 17, 2010

What's Your Favorite Spot for Mountain Laurel?

We went to check out the mountain laurel in our favorite spot on Saturday and it's coming on strong -- if this rain doesn't knock off a lot of flowers (and I think it's been gentle enough that it shouldn't) they should be just beautiful this weekend.

Mountain Laurel blooms
Photo credit: ac4lt
So, do you have a favorite spot to go when the mountain laurels are blooming?

I'll tell you ours: the Rachel Carson Trail along the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia. Park at Burnt Mills Dam (or take one of the Z buses from Silver Spring to the Burnt Mills Shopping Center, whose anchor is a Trader Joe's) and head upstream -- from the dam it's less than half a mile to a hillside that is covered in blooming mountain laurels right now.

Click on the map for driving directions, or check WMATA for the schedules of the Z buses and some RideOn buses that also go by this spot (you're aiming for 10765 Colesville Road).

View Burnt Mills Dam in a larger map

This may be a ways out if you're coming from points further south -- so tell us, what's your favorite spot for mountain laurel?


dcpatton said...

That is a beautiful spot. There are many other things to discover along that trail.

Art D. said...

I'd forgotten about that grove along Northwest Branch!
My favorite spots are out in Shenandoah NP (Jones Mountain in particular), but locally there are a few places in Rock Creek that I like

Anonymous said...

Yes, there are some nice ones in Rock Creek Park when you get uphill on the Valley Trail north of Holly Street...

WashingtonGardener said...

my fave mountain laurels are on the Fern Valley path at the USNA - where they had a mountain laurel breeding/trial program in decades past - as a matter of fact my close-up photos of one from their was our Dry Shade theme issue cover shot

Anonymous said...

the mountain laurel is putting on a show along Difficult Run near Great Falls

Anonymous said...

I only happened to be there once, but Dolly Sods was amazing.

Unknown said...

Ah, my grandfather's farm in SW Virginia...under the pines.

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