First described by John Bartram in 1814, this species has a wide distribution in the eastern United States, but can usually be found growing near streams or moist areas. It is sometimes known as the "Smooth Azalea" because the stems are very smooth and do not have hairs similar to the other azaleas.
I am not certain if the pink azalea is also R. arborescens or another naturalized hybrid. I'll have to look a little closer next time.
The AT does tunnel through the laurels towards the top of Copper Bald.
There's a pretty decent and flat campsite right behind this sign. I'll have to bring the grandsons here to camp in a few years.