Roan Mountain is in Northeast Tennessee, with elevations varying from 2,550 to 6,285 feet at its alpine summit. The Doe River flows from the northern slopes of Roan Mountain, through Roan Mountain State Park and the center of town, and into the confluence with the Watauga River at Elizabethton. Roan Mountain State Park is home to the largest natural rhododendron gardens in the world, with more than 600 beautiful acres. The Roan Mountain Rhododendron Festival is held each summer at the lower elevation of Roan Mountain State Park, offering visitors opportunities to sample traditional foods, purchase locally handmade crafts, and listen to a variety of traditional Southern Appalachian musicians, as well as to view the alpine catawba rhododendron gardens whose blooming season usually peaks during the third or fourth weekend in June. The Roan Mountain Hilltoppers, a well-known old-time string band performing traditional Appalachian music, hail from the Roan Mountain area. This family band has been featured at venues including the Smithsonian Museum's American Folklife Festival, the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. The band has received numerous awards and recognitions, and acquired an unexpected audience after Malcolm McLaren sampled some of its music in his 1982 hit song, "Buffalo Girls." Visit the natural beauty at Roan Mountain. Roan Mountain and Roan Mountain State Park are on the Sunny Side Trail, one of 16 regional trails in Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways, your pass to the backroads that will help you discover what lies off the beaten path in Tennessee.
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