Craggy Gardens

Craggy Gardens

UNCA Storied Landscapes Site by Katie Caruso & Reilly Strong

Map Layers


Craggy Gardens is located within the Blue Ridge Mountains. The mountain landscape shapes the surrounding terrain as well as the ecosystem of Craggy Gardens.


The vegetation of Craggy Gardens shapes its iconic beauty and fragility in the natural world.


Western North Carolina is known as the “land of the sky” for its dramatic skyline. Over the mountain landscape, the sky above Craggy Gardens is ideal for stargazing.

Human Narratives

Human narratives are woven into the natural history of Craggy Gardens. The human stories of activism and the construction of the Blue Ridge have shaped and been shaped by natural narratives. Click on image to...

About this Project

Our mission is to research layers of ecological and human history of Craggy Gardens to construct a “deep map” (Heat-Moon) of the Craggy Gardens landscape. A deep map involves extensive exploration of place to weave literary and photographic media with the history, ecology, stories and intuition of the landscape. We highlight landscape, vegetation, the sky, and human narratives as layers woven into the fabric of a deep map. We hope that, by navigating through this project, viewers will develop a deeper understanding with and connection to their natural and human communities to promote sustainability and peace.

Craggy Gardens is an iconic hiking destination on the Blue Ridge Parkway outside of Asheville, North Carolina. Through the use of archival documents, scientific observation and nature writing, this website explores the story of Craggy Gardens.

A Note to Craggy Gardens Visitors

If you are visiting Craggy Gardens, please travel on marked trails. The ecosystem and, particularly, the vegetation on Craggy Gardens is fragile and endangered, and is damaged when trampled underfoot.