Monday, February 8, 2010

Dates set for the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage

The 60th annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in Great Smoky Mountains National Park will take place from April 21 thru April 25 this year and will be headquartered at the Mills Conference Center in Gatlinburg. The pilgrimage is a five-day event consisting of a variety of wildflower, fauna, and natural history walks, motorcades, photographic tours, art classes, and indoor seminars.

With over 150 programs available, both outdoor and indoor, there will be topics and hikes to please everyone.

Also included in this year's Pilgrimage will be a "Greener Living Expo", highlighting ways to be more earth-friendly. Indoor programs will feature composting and organic gardening, water pollution and its effect on aquatic life, becoming your own "green grocer", attracting insect-eating birds through gardening, and much more.

To learn more about the Great Smoky Mountains Association's Pilgrimage, please click here (website should be updated shortly). On-line registration will begin March 9 and end April 17. Registration fees are: $40 for one day, $75 for 2 or more days, $10 for students, and children under 12 are free.

For further information about the Pilgrimage or about exhibit space call the GSMA at 865-436-7318, extension 222 or 254.

The Great Smoky Mountains are home to more than 1600 species of flowering plants. If you're more interested in striking out on your own to see some of these, please check out my list of the best trails to hike, when to hike them, and which flowers you can expect to see.

If you can't make it to the Smokies this spring, you can still view a gallery of wildflowers I've put together by clicking here.

Need help identifying wildflowers?

Check out Southern Appalachian Wildflowers. This is an excellent companion to have during wildflower season to help you identify the many flowers you'll be seeing. This field guide features wildflowers from the southern tip of the Appalachians in Georgia and Alabama to the Blue Ridge Parkway and includes Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Please click here for more information.

Jeff Detailed information on trails in the Smoky Mountains; includes trail descriptions, key features, pictures, video, maps, elevation profiles, news, and more.

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