Guided Field Trips for the Wildflower Pilgrimage


The main highlight of the Pilgrimage are the two day-long field trips to wildflower destinations, led by some of Ohio’s most knowledgeable naturalists and botanists. Groups are limited in size to 16 or less, and the hikes begin right after breakfast and end in mid-afternoon. If you wish to take shorter hikes, choose hikes that shift locations mid-day, when you would have the option of departing early.

To find out more details of field trip choices, click on the photo of the field trips that most interest you. Links to directions will be emailed to you a few weeks in advance of the Pilgrimage.

To Register: Your first step is to pick your top four field trip choices. Then click on the registration button on the top menu. We will do our best to assign you to your top choices and will confirm by email.

Lodging: Registrants need to make their own lodging arrangements. Click on the Lodging menu above to see your options.

Harmony and Black Gum Trails

Easy but SHOWY – 1 mile total  Harmony Trail on the floodplain Paint Creek may be the densest wildflower display in Highland County . Black Gum Woods Trail winds through towering old growth trees with lush flower displays.

Miller State Nature Preserve

Moderate/Easy – 2.25 mi. This state nature preserve on the Rocky Fork Creek has many clear running streams, beautiful rock formations and dense floral showcases. Highlight of the trip is a natural stone archway.

Chalet Nivale-Davis-Shoemaker; Scioto Brush Creek Preserves

Moderate/Easy – 2.5 mi. Visit up to three notable natural areas in the Scioto Brush Creek watershed of Adams County, a region notable for its large numbers of state-listed botanical species and forests with prairie influences.

Lewis Family Gorge

Moderate – 3.0 mi. The privately-protected 1/2 mile long Lewis Family gorge has dazzling flowers. We will be walking off-trail in and along a shallow creek.


Moderate – 1-2 miles per day Enjoy the wildflowers while  learning new techniques and perspectives from an award-winning professional photographer, Tom Croce. Additional $50/person.

Arc Land Project - Rock Run

Difficult  – 3 to 3.5 mi. Rock Run is a 407-acre preserve containing a significant botanical ecosystem in a 500 foot-deep valley adjacent to Shawnee Forest, Ohio’s largest State Forest. The area features the extremely rare ecosystem for Ohio – a black birch-hemlock assemblage, with sweetgum showing up in the lower elevations.

Spruce Hill Earthworks

Moderate – 3 mi. Rich wildflower displays on upper elevations with three species of trilliums. Includes interpretation of ancient Indian ridgetop earthwork enclosure.

Maude's Cedar Narrows

Moderate – 3 mi. A beautiful section of the Rocky Fork Creek near Rocky Fork Lake. Dense floral displays, waterfalls and rock formations. Optional side trip to bluebell-laden meadows.

Strait Creek

Moderate  – 3 mi. Nature Conservancy’s 1,200-acre preserve boasts extremely high diversity of plants, many interesting prairie species, and high diversity of floral species.

Fort Hill

Difficult  – 4.5 mi. 1300 acre forest preserve with stunning floral showcases, nice rock formations, and old forests, some of them old-growth. Ancient American Indian ridgetop ceremonial enclosure.

OH River Bluffs - Whipple

Moderate – 3.5 mi. Unbelievable showcases of flowers on this trip – well worth the drive. A side trip down Gilkison Hollow will take us to carpets of Blue Eyed Mary’s.

Arc Land Project - Ohio Hanging Rock

Moderate/Difficult – 3 – 4mi.  See our largest acquisition ever attempted at 600 acres! For adventuresome folks who love flowers and unimproved hiking trails. NE Scioto County.

Arc Land Project - Redstone Farm

Moderate – 2 mi. SHOWCASING THE ARC’S LATEST 200 ACRE CONSERVATION EASEMENT ACQUISITION!! Explore the Easement’s 40-acre wetlands with photographer Doug Wechsler, our keynote speaker & Drausin Wulsin, Owner of Grassroots Graziers & Red Stone Farm, producer of organic grass-fed meats. This hike is moderate only because we are sometimes hiking off trail. Otherwise relatively easy.