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Flower Hill Nature Preserve

Flower Hill Nature Preserve is a 25-acre preserve in eastern Johnston County near the Nash County line.  The preserve protects a steep south-facing bluff along Moccasin Creek that supports an unusual population of Catawba rhododendron, galax and other mountain species.  In the 1930s, naturalist B.W. Wells visited the property and noted the unusual mountain community this far east in the state - "a freak of nature".  His account was picked up and Flower Hill was mentioned in a tourist guide.  In May 1937, more than 4000 people visited Flower Hill to see the rhododendron in bloom.  After two years, interest waned and Flower Hill was largely forgotten.  In 1988, efforts were made to protect the property and Triangle Land Conservancy acquired the land in 1989, opening it to the public in 1993.

9038 Flower Hill Rd.,
Middlesex, NC 27557

Directions:

Flower Hill Nature Preserve is located in eastern Johnston County near Middlesex.  To visit, head east from Raleigh on I-87/US-64/US-264 for about 17 miles.  Where US-64 and US-264 split, bear right to stay on US-264 east.  In 2.1 miles, take exit 21 for NC-39 south.  Turn right on NC-39 south and go 5.6 miles, then left on NC-231 north.  Go 2.9 miles turn right on Flower Hill Road.  The parking will be on the left almost immediately.

Map:

Trails:

Flower Hill Trail:

Flower Hill Trail is a half-mile trail through the preserve.  The trail starts at the end of the parking lot near the road and gradually heads up behind some homes.  After passing two small drainages, the trail leads along the top of the bluff where the rhododendron are growing.  From here, the trail leads down to Moccasin Creek and becomes private property.

Wildlife:

Flower Hill is best known for its disjunct population of Catawba rhododendron (Rhododendron catawbiense).  These shrubs are normally found much further west in the southern Appalachian Mountains.  In early May, the rhododendron flower and put on a beautiful show.

Blog Entries:

01-Dec-2018: Goose Creek Hikes

External Links:

Triangle Land Conservancy Website: https://www.triangleland.org/explore/nature-preserves/flower-hill-nature-preserve