Superstition Mountains at sunset, from Lost Dutchman State Park in Arizona


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"This .6 mile route near the Day Butterfly Center highlights evergreen rhododendrons     
near the Southern limits of their range. A secluded sitting area offers an 
opportunity to observe waterfowl on Hummingbird Lake."
~ Callaway Gardens description of the Rhododendron Trail
Although rhododendrons grow pretty much all over Callaway Gardens, the best concentration of these large shrubs is on the Rhododendron Trail, a fairly smooth, gently sloping, dirt path in a lolly-pop configuration.

Here is a small version of the Gardens' property map and a larger detail from the interpretive panel at the trailhead that shows the location of the trail:


The trailhead is about a hundred feet from the entrance door into the Butterfly Center. The closest parking is in the nearby woods but there aren't very many spaces there. (Handicapped parking is also available near the Butterfly Center.)

A better option on a busy day is to park out on the main road between the Pioneer Cabin and the driveway back to the Butterfly Center. It's only about a quarter-mile walk from there on the Hydrangea Trail to the Butterfly Center and Rhododendron Trail.

One end of the Hydrangea Trail

I walked the Rhododendron Trail twice -- on March 29 and April 18. More rhododendrons were in bloom in mid-April than late March. Photos in this entry are from both dates.

As with the azaleas, bloom time varies from year to year so call the park or check the website to determine when most of the rhododendrons are expected to be in bloom if that's what you most want to see. The good thing is, with so many varieties the bloom season lasts for several weeks.

Here are random photos showing the variety of rhododendron blooms and some other interesting things that caught my eye along this trail:





This trail isn't paved but it's relatively smooth and flat, so probably OK for wheelchairs and strollers.












A busy bee in that one











Here are a few other things that were blooming along the Rhododendron Trail when I was here in March and April.

Fair warning! Fourth picture below is of a common non-venomous king snake. Scroll down carefully if snakes freak you out!

A small part of a very large clump of Lenten roses

Pale pink flowers on a large, old fruit tree (cherry?) near the trailhead

See the daddy-long-legs spider on this iris?

A common kingsnake along the path

Next entry:  Photo tribute to our ultrarunning buddy, Matt Watts, who left us 'way too soon

Happy trails,

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Casey-Girl, and Holly-Pup

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2019 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil