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After a snow-filled winter, spring erupts with a blast of color in the High Country. Bluets, trout lilies and trillium cover forest floor in splashes of blue, yellow and white, as the opening act for the coming flood of pink, purple and white rhododendron and mountain laurel. Visit our wildflower photo gallery for a sample of what you will see.

But the blossoms above ground are just half the wild flora story. Under the surface can be found the wild onions known locally as "ramps." Festivals celebrating the uniquely pungent vegetable can be found throughout the mountains, including Crossnore in Avery County. So that explains why the air smells like onions!

Spring is also marked by the popularity of trout fishing in Avery County's numerous streams and rivers. The trout season traditionally opened the first Saturday in April, but now fishing is allowed year-round. There are hundreds of miles of fishable streams and rivers in the Avery County area, and the pros agree that the catching is best in spring and fall. Stop by the Visitor's Center when you get here and we can direct you to the nearest outfitters that can answer all your questions about rules, regulations and routes to the big ones!

Spring marks the arrival of the migratory songbirds as well. Literally hundreds of species of birds will come through in April and May, and many will nest and raise young here as well. Avery County is especially attractive to wide varieties of species because there is a great range in elevation from the valleys to the ridge tops and a great range in habitat conditions (types of cover, water sources and food sources) that meet the needs of all sorts of species.

10306-Tufted_TitmouseThe Blue Ridge Parkway is wide open once again after all the snow is gone. Parkway Visitor Centers at the Linn Cove Viaduct and Linville Falls open on the first of May and cyclists, hikers and drivers alike can take full advantage of our stretch of America's Most Scenic Drive throughout the warmer months.

The weather is mild to cool through the spring with days reaching into the 50s and 60s and nights as low as the 30s and 40s. Don't forget to bring a jacket to fully enjoy the High Country springtime!