While many people look forward to their summer vacation every year, Gatlinburg invites you to get away from it all early. Think Spring and come to Gatlinburg now for a wildflower show you’ll never forget! In Great Smoky Mountains National Park alone there are over 1500 different species of flowering plants. Couple that treasure trove of stunning blooms with the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage held by the Great Smoky Mountain Association and you can immerse yourself in a spring flora extravaganza the likes of which you’ll not find anywhere else in the country.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s abundance of wildflowers has earned it the nickname ‘Wildflower National Park,’ as it offers visitors more wildflowers than in any other national park in the United States. Visit the park in mid-April to enjoy a diversity of flowers in the lower elevations and then trek to higher elevations later in the month to enjoy the wildflowers spread throughout the park’s upper regions.
What’s Blooming in April and Where to See Them
Visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park will see columbine, bleeding heart, ten different types of trillium, lady slipper orchids, showy orchids, crested dwarf iris, fire pink, phacelia, violets, jack-in-the-pulpit, little brown jugs and many more flower varieties. Visit this page on the park’s website for recommended wildflower walks.
The Great Smoky Mountain Association’s 63rd Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage is your chance to enjoy the park’s abundance of wildflowers while you participate in any of 150 programs and classes. The Wildflower Pilgrimage will be held at W.L. Mills Conference Center, 303 Reagan Drive, & various venues throughout the area.
Botanists, hobby gardeners and people who love nature hikes all are welcome. Visitors will enjoy guided hiking tours, instructional walks, guest lecturers and demonstrations. While wildflowers are a major focus, plants, trees, shrubs, mosses and ferns native to the area will also be highlighted, as will native birds, amphibians and reptiles.
Most programs will take place outdoors, but several classroom sessions and evening entertainment activities will be held in W.L. Mills Conference Center downtown to round out the week.
For more information please call 865-436-7318; Toll Free: 800-568-4178, or visit
www.springwildflowerpilgrimage.org/ for the 2013 activity brochure.