Nothing says springtime like a field of daffodils, but search and rescue teams in North Carolina are warning hikers not to underestimate the terrain when seeking out the best views of the flowers.
Daffodils aren't native to North Carolina, but the state has become known for the rivers of golden flowers that erupt early each year. Linville Gorge is particularly popular destination for those who want to get the best views, but it's not the most accessible and inexperienced hikers are getting into trouble along the way.
Many of us associate daffodils with flat, rolling fields, and although Linville Gorge is certainly beautiful, it's also rugged and popular with climbers. The gorge is known as the Grand Canyon of the Southeast, and as Backpacker reports, many visitors come underprepared.
Trails in the area are rugged, and hikers are encouraged to bring trekking poles if they have them, which takes those expecting a gentle springtime stroll by surprise. Visitors also need to bring the 10 essentials for hiking, including appropriate food, clothing, and footwear, and know how to navigate using a map and compass.
Beautiful but difficult
"Every year we see an increase in call volume concerning daffodil flats," said Burke County Rescue in a Facebook post. "With its increase in popularity more people than before are seeking out the daffodils and many of them get lost, hurt or end up off trail. Yes, we agree the daffodils are beautiful, but this is not a hike for the inexperienced – it is difficult and rugged."
Some climbers become exhausted climbing back out of the gorge after drinking in their fill of the sights, some get lost, and one woman reportedly fell right off a cliff after heading out without sufficient food.
If you're in Wales, you'll face no such trouble finding beautiful daffodils for St David's Day tomorrow. Penrhyn Castle in Bangor, Bodnant Garden in Conway, and Dyffryn Garden in Cardiff are all great options, but virtually any public garden will be awash with yellow right now, with no climbing necessary.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).