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Squirrel Corn

Floral bouquet at the Highands Nature Sanctuary.


Arc of Appalachia Wildflower Pilgrimage
April 17 - 19, 2015, 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.


Summary of Weekend Activities

Friday Evening: Welcome by Arc Director, Nancy Stranahan, and presentation by Joan Maloof, Founder of The Old Growth Forest Network.

Saturday: Choose from a wide array or guided field trips to view southern Ohio’s most beautiful wildflower displays, led by some of Ohio's finest naturalists and botanists. Delicious breakfast off the grill at the Appalachian Forest Museum and provided packed lunch.

Saturday Evening: Dinner at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary and a special presentation: Bearing Witness - The Honored Art of Phenology.

Sunday: Pancake Breakfast at Fort Hill's Picnic Shelter. Celebrate the official designation of Fort Hill in the national Old-Growth Network and partake in a Wildflower Pilgrimage into Ohio's most outstanding mature forest with an optional shuttle back at the trail's half way point. Packed lunch provided.


Trilliums at Whipple State Nature Preserve

Trillium at Whipple State Nature Preserve..

This ephemeral display of flowers - all blooming at once - is as close to
heaven on earth as any nature spectacle you’ll ever experience.

The Appalachian foothills of the Arc of Appalachia region have one of the richest wildflower displays to be found in the Eastern United States, partially enabled by the wealth of 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 white-flowering trilliums, which bloom alongside cascading colonies of blue cohosh, fairy wands of miterwort and anemones that carpet the rocks, and 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, known for its scenic karst springs, grottos and the sheer-walled canyon of the Rocky Fork Gorge. The event is headquartered at the Sanctuary's visitor center, the Appalachian Forest Museum, where most of the indoor gatherings will be held. Lodging is available both at the Sanctuary and in private inns in the larger region.

Hikes will be held at botanical hotspots in our region, featuring both non-profit and state-owned natural areas. In most field trips, participants drive their own cars to the trailheads, and the majority of which are within ten miles of the Appalachian Forest Museum. Shuttle vans are supplied for the field trip to the Ohio River Bluffs & Whipple State Nature Preserve on the Ohio River.


More Information

Weekend Schedule | About Each Guided Trip | Frequently Asked Questions
Lodging Options | Directions | Registration | Payment & Cancellation

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