Sinkhole closes road to famed Roan Mountain Rhododendron Gardens


A locked gate and road closed sign blocks the entrance to the Roan Mountain Road after a a sinkhole formed about a mile past the gate.

MITCHELL COUNTY, N.C. (WJHL) — The road to the beloved Roan Mountain Rhododendron Gardens is closed because of a sinkhole.

A spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service said the hole is about a mile past the gate blocking State Route 1358, the Roan Mountain Road.

Road crews are trying to determine the cause of the sinkhole and the best way to repair it, the spokesman told News Channel 11.

The gardens are recreation area surrounding them are still accessible to hikers.

State Route 1358 is the only access for vehicles to the famed Rhododendron Gardens which draw thousands of visitors every June to see the garden in bloom as well as the Roan Mountain Day Use Area.

The gardens sits just across the state line from Tennessee in Mitchell County, North Carolina, in the Pisgah National Forest.

Fortunately, the gardens have not bloomed yet and likely won’t until the middle to late June, the spokesman said.

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