Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Welcome Spring with Wildflower Walks in Georgia's State Parks

While dogwoods and daffodils are the traditional trumpeters of spring, a host of wildflowers are arriving in celebration of warmer weather. For a close-up look at these brilliant blooms, join state park rangers on a series of guided wildlflower walks across Georgia. Hikers will look for wood violet, trout lily, wild azalea, spring-beauty, showy orchis, foam flower, trillium, Indian pink, buckeye and many more native blooms. These programs are hosted by several state parks that have a large number of native plants growing in natural settings.

For more information about the guided wildflower hikes, call the parks directly. A $3 to $4 parking fee is charged and some hikes are free. Wildflower hikes are just some of the many events hosted by Georgia’s 63 state parks and historic sites. For a complete calendar of events, visit

Spring Wildflower Day
Saturday, March 28, 1 – 3 p.m.
Providence Canyon State Park - Lumpkin
Providence Canyon, known as Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon, has diverse environments where a wide variety of wildflowers may be seen. Bring your camera for an awe-inspiring hike where you may discover a new world of wildflowers. $1 plus $3 parking. 229-838-6202 .

Thursday Wildflower Walks at the Hike Inn
March 19, April 16 and April 30, Noon
Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge - Dawsonville
Guests of the Len Foote Hike Inn can meet at the “top of falls” trailhead to take a guided wildflower walk. The Hike Inn is Georgia's only backcountry lodge, located at Amicalola Falls State Park. $3 parking. 1-800-581-8032 .

Wild About Wildflowers
Saturdays in April, April 4, 11, 18 and 25, 1 – 3 p.m.
Cloudland Canyon State Park - Rising Fawn
Join the park's naturalist in the picnic area for an easy, guided wildflower hike. The hikes will include flower identification, cultivation tips and good exercise. Bring water and a sack lunch. Limit 40 participants. $3 parking. 706-657-4050 .

Spring Wildflower Fest
April 11 - 12
Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge - Dawsonville
Enjoy a wildflower identification hike and learn more about edible and medicinal plants. Join a variety of activities as we celebrate the arrival of spring. The park features a hotel-style lodge with a restaurant that has a stunning mountain view. $3 parking. 706-265-1969 .

Spring Wildflowers Around Unicoi
April 17 - 18
Unicoi State Park and Lodge - Helen
Friday evening begins with a slide show and lecture. On Saturday, there will be wildflower walks and activities that help both the novice and experienced enthusiast better appreciate the colorful and fascinating world of mountain wildflowers. Spend the night in the park’s lodge, cottages or campground. Register in advance. $3 parking. 800-573-9659 ext. 305.

Spring Wildflower Walk
April 18, 10 a.m. - Noon
Mistletoe State Park - Appling
Explore the woods as they come alive with dogwood, berry blossoms, trillium, Jack-in-the-pulpit, rattlesnake plant, variegated clover, violets, wisteria, ruby thistle and more. Don’t forget your camera. $3 parking. 706-541-0321 .

Riverfront Wildflower Hike
April 18, 10 a.m.
Sprewell Bluff State Park - Thomaston
Join a plant biologist on this four-mile hike along the Flint River while several flowers and trees are at their peak of spring color. Meet at the main parking lot by the river and bring a lunch to enjoy at picnic area. $3 plus $3 parking. 706-646-6026 .

Wildflower Walk
April 25, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Vogel State Park - Blairsville
This guided wildflower walk through the Appalachian forest will highlight Jack-in-the pulpits, trilliums, wild azaleas and many other flowering plants. $3 plus $3 parking. 706-745-2628 .

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