Have you found the fairies in Hendersonville, NC? Bullington Gardens in Hendersonville, NC, just a little over an hour north of Greenville, SC has an adorable fairy garden over the summer. And it’s free.
What could be cuter than finding fairies in the woods? Finding them in a beautiful and fun trail at Bullington Gardens in Hendersonville, NC, of course.
C.S. Lewis, a prolific and famous author of the Narnia chronicles, wrote this to his goddaughter, Lucy, in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe:
My Dear Lucy, I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand, a word you say, but I shall still be your affectionate Godfather, C.S. Lewis
As a grown-up, are you ready to be old enough to read – or see – fairy tales again? If so, step into the Bullington Gardens Fairy Trail.
Bullington Gardens is only a little over an hour north of Greenville and is a beautiful spot to stop and literally smell the roses. The gardens are public and encompass 12 acres right in the middle of the apple orchards in that part of Western North Carolina.
They also do several events and programs aimed at education and carry on the legacy and vision of Bob Bullington, who collected many unusual trees and plants. They often have school groups come out and learn about horticultural science.
I found the gardens to be just beautiful and so peaceful. The volunteers I interacted with were all so kind and helpful. It’s really a great place to visit for any occasion.
Port-o-johns are available at the gardens.
The Fairy Trail
The fairy trail is exactly as it sounds except cooler. The trail winds through shaded woods and guests are encouraged to find all the little fairy houses and trolls and llamas and bridges. It is really fun and entertaining!
The little worlds that the fairies inhabit are all unique and my kids and I just loved trying to find them all and figure out what was happening in each scene. The exhibits change every year (photos are from the summer of 2022) but the creativity and genius stay the same.
The trail isn’t long, maybe a quarter-mile on natural, unpaved ground, but there are plenty of fairies and gnomes to find. Be sure to stop at the side trail before you get to the very end where there are lots of fairies and trolls and toadstools and gnomes doing yoga amongst the trees.
Bullington Gardens asks that guests be respectful of the fairies, only touch gently, and to stay on the trails. The trail is one way only so if you want to take your time, go for it but make room for others to pass. And please follow the rules of Leave No Trace, don’t litter, and don’t move the fairies from their little houses.
The Fairy Trail is open Mondays – Saturdays from June 1 – August 31, 2022 from 9 am – 4 pm.
During the summer of 2022, the Fairy Market will be set up at Bullington Gardens on the second Saturday of every month. This event will include face painting, arts and crafts, and storytimes for kids. You can also buy adorable fairy accessories like wings and crowns or purchase your own fairies for a garden at home. Definitely a not-miss summer event.
2022 dates are June 11 and August 13 from 9 am – 3 pm. When you check-in, you’ll get a timed entry into the Fairy Trail, which is so awesome because you basically get the trail to yourself for awhile! When we went, we had about 40 minutes between the time of check-in to when our entry was so my kids had their faces painted and we walked a nature trail, walked through the other gardens, and browsed the fairy market.
Tips on Visiting the Fairy Trail and Bullington Gardens
The gardens are open year-round but the Fairy Trail is only open June 1 – August 31, 2022, Mondays – Saturdays from 9 am – 4 pm.
There is no charge to visit the fairies or Bullington Gardens but as a nonprofit, they gladly accept donations.
I saw some people with strollers but I’d say that unless you have an all-terrain stroller, it’s best to carry your littles or baby wear. The trail is natural, so not paved, which makes it hard to roll wheels on.
When you go during busier days like the Fairy Market, you’ll get a timed ticket. Ours was 40 minutes after our arrival so we had time to browse the market, do face painting, and walk through one of the nature trails. Just be aware that you will have some time between arrival and going through the trail.
The only public bathrooms there are port-o-johns. The one we used was clean but with littles, we understand that knowledge of bathrooms is important!
Nearby Things to Do in Hendersonville
There are plenty of cool things to do in Hendersonville to make your trip up to the see the fairies a day trip.
You can visit the goats at the Carl Sandburg Home (be sure to get pizza at the nearby Village Bakery), let the kids play on the awesome playground at The Park at Flat Rock, check out the free train museum, or visit the aquarium in downtown Hendersonville. Apple orchards open up in July usually so you can add those to your day trip as well.
95 Upper Red Oak Trail, Hendersonville, NC