If you like wildflowers and hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, now’s the time to register for the 65th Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, April 21-25.
Each year, more than 700 people from more than 35 states and even overseas descend on the Smokies as spring flora color the forest with flowers and vibrant spring migratory birds return to their summer home.
Register online at http://www.springwildflowerpilgrimage.org. Registration fees are $75 per person for two or more days, or $50 for a single day. Students pay $15 with valid student ID presented at onsite registration.
The pilgrimage offers 146 guided walks and indoor presentations. This year features 32 birding programs along with programs on wildflowers, ferns, mosses, medicinal plants, bears, hogs, insects, bats, fungi, salamanders, ecology, tree and wildflower identification, cultural and natural history, and bird and wildflower photography and sketching.
The event also hosts a photography contest and a gallery of vendors, native plant growers, exhibitors, a native plant display, and a series of documentary and natural history films about the park.
The pilgrimage kicks off with a welcoming luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21, at the Mills Conference Center. Speaker Kim DeLozier will deliver the talk, “Bear in the Backseat: Adventures of a Wildlife Ranger in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.” Talks on birds and fungi in the park will be given in the evenings.