Arc of Appalachia Wildflower Pilgrimage

April 15 – 17, 2016 Friday Evening – Sunday Afternoon

Hosted at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary, Bainbridge, Ohio

pil·grim·age (n): A long journey or search, especially one driven by an exalted purpose.

Our destination is no less than the search for spring. Our quest? The miracle of earth’s resurgence and resurrection.

The ephemeral display of spring woodland flowers – all blooming at once – is as close to heaven on earth as any nature spectacle we can ever experience. The Appalachian foothills of the Arc of Appalachia region have one of the richest wildflower displays to be found in Eastern United States, partially enabled by the wealth of moisture and minerals in its underlying limestone bedrock. This karst country of springs, rock arches, seeps and sinkholes produces an unusual abundance and density of wildflowers. Each year the Pilgrimage is timed to catch the region’s showy showcase of iconic Large-flowered Trilliums which bloom alongside cascading colonies of blue cohosh, fairy wands of miterwort and delicate anemones that carpet the rocks, and the color-bursts of yellow wood poppies and purple larkspurs.

Let us Give you Sanctuary

The Pilgrimage is hosted at the Arc’s largest preserve, the 2200-acre Highlands Nature Sanctuary protecting the the sheer-walled canyon of the Rocky Fork Gorge. All meals and evening presentations take place at the Sanctuary’s visitor center, the Appalachian Forest Museum. Limited lodging is available at the Sanctuary. A wide variety of private inns and cabins are offered in the region and are linked on the lodging page.

Hikes will be held at botanical hotspots in our region, featuring both Arc preserves and other private and state-owned natural areas. In most field trips, participants drive their own cars to the trailheads, and the majority of them are within ten miles of the Appalachian Forest Museum. Shuttle vans are supplied for one or two of the further destinations.

Where would we “bee” without our pollinators

Friday Evening:
Welcome by Arc Director, Nancy Stranahan, and presentation by Author Olivia Carril on THE WONDER OF BEE DIVERSITY. Olivia is author of the new richly-illustrated book, Bees in Your Backyard, A Field Guide to North America’s Bees a world view of bees, their natural history, and an introduction to identifying bees on the family level.

Saturday: Choose from a wide array of guided field trips to view southern Ohio’s most beautiful wildflower displays, led by some of Ohio’s finest naturalists and botanists. Delicious breakfast is served off the grill at the Appalachian Forest Museum. During breakfast a lunch buffet is provided from which you can pack your own lunch.  

Saturday Evening:
Dinner at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary and a special presentation by Denise Ellsworth on BEES OF OHIO – A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING & STEWARDING YOUR BACKYARD BEES.

Sunday: Second day of guided field trips to view southern Ohio’s most beautiful wildflower displays.