Wildflower Pilgrimage Guided Field Trips – click on each photo for more info

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.

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 your top choices for your two field trips (one on Saturday and one on Sunday). We will confirm all details by email.

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

 

Current Campaign – Rock Run

Moderate/Difficult  – 3 to 3.5 mi. Featuring the Arc’s newest land campaign project- Trillium Hollow at Rock Run! Trillium Hollow is a 93 acre tract contiguous to the Arc’s existing Rock Run holdings. It is located at the head of Trillium Branch, a tributary of Rock Run. The preserve plays an important role in protecting habitat for an astonishing 28 species of ferns, 14 species of herps, bobcats, and rare salamanders. Trillium Hollow is the richest wildflower-laden tributary in the entire Rock Run watershed. More Information…

Current Campaign – Parker Woods & Sad Song Creek

Moderate/Difficult – 3.5 mi. Featuring the Arc’s newest land campaign – Parker Woods! Parker Woods’ addition to the Highlands Nature Sanctuary will further protect the water quality and the intact aquatic ecosystems of the lower Rocky Fork. An abundant wildflower understory exists on the sandstone-base ridgetops dominated by yellow corydalis, celandine wood poppy, spring beauties, false mermaid, and dwarf larkspur. More Information…

Current Campaign – Lewis Gorge

Moderate – 3.0 mi. Lewis Gorge is a 233-acre parcel containing a spectacular one half mile long vertical-sided gorge flowing into an exceptionally scenic tributary of Paint Creek known as Cliff Run. Finally after two years of hiking into the gorge during the pilgrimage, we are buying the property! The gorge has dazzling flowers and stunning rock formations. Like a miniature Rocky Fork Gorge, this side tributary of Paint Creek has vertical rock walls of columbines, anemones and miterworts; and drifts of trillium and twinleaf on its steep loamy soils. More Information…

Two Day Photography Course

Moderate – 1 – 2 miles per day. Enjoy the wildflowers while learning new techniques and perspectives from an award-winning professional photographer, Tom Croce. Additional $45/person. On one of the field trips you’ll explore the Barrett’s Rim trail- the Jewel of the Rocky Fork Gorge!. More Information…

Gladys Riley Golden Star Lily Preserve

Moderate – 3 – 4 mi. The Arc founded the first preserve for the Golden Stars in 2005 with a 67 acre refuge just outside the small town of Otway, Ohio. Because of the rich water resources of the lower Rocky Fork watershed and the shelter from the steep hills that rise above the floodplain, floral species are rich on the lower hillside elevations of the preserve. Spring species include showy representatives, both common and uncommon species, such as celandine wood poppy, yellow mandarin, Guyandotte beauty, sweet William, starry chickweed, sweet white violet, Canada violet, long-spurred violet, and large-flowered trillium. More Information…

Harmony Trail & Black Gum Woods

Easy but SHOWY – 1 mile total. Harmony Trail on the floodplain Paint Creek may be the densest and the most diverse wildflower display in Highland County for its size. A flat easily accessible trail takes you through carpets of flowers that touch your ankles as you go by. Black Gum Woods Trail winds through towering old growth trees with a classic Appalachian forest wildflowers.More Information…

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. This is Rocky Fork Gorge at its best, with well designed creek crossings. Highlight of the trip is a natural stone archway. More Information…

Red Stone Farm Wetlands

Moderate – 2 mi. Explore the Arc’s 200-acre conservation easement land with a restored 40-acre wetlands – bursting with large numbers of breeding salamanders and frogs.  Enjoy a farm tour through Drausin Wulsin’s large grass-based meat and dairy farm, and learn how wholesome agricultural practices can boost high numbers of native plants and animals. Some off-trail, otherwise relatively easy. More Information…

Ohio River Bluffs & Whipple

Moderate – 3.5 mi. The Bluffs are the least remnant of the spectacular floral displays on the Silurian limestones facing the Ohio River. The density of wildflowers covering the steep hillside from river to ridgetop and carpeting the ravine in nearby Whipple State Nature Preserve  is incomprehensibly mind blowing – well worth the drive. A side trip down Gilkison Hollow will take us to acres of blooming Blue Eyed Mary’s. More Information…

Barrett’s Rim

Moderate – 2.5 mi. The Barrett’s Rim Trail in the Rocky Fork Gorge is spectacular in April – truly a heady experience. The dolomite rock walls which line the Rocky Fork Creek like a sentinel, and fallen boulders along the trail support an incredulous density of wildflowers, presenting floral displays not only at one’s feet but also above one’s head.
More Information…

Scioto Brush Creek Preserves – Davis Memorial, Chalet Nivale & Shoemaker

Moderate/Easy – 2.5 mi. Visit up to three notable natural areas in the Scioto Brush Creek watershed, Davis Memorial, Chalet Nivale, and Shoemaker, each one  notable for its large numbers of state-listed botanical species and showy wildflowers. These Adams County forests display a prairie influence in their diverse flora. More Information…

Ohio Hanging Rock

Moderate/Difficult – 3 – 4 mi. This 600-acre hill country property is a current land campaign project. We will be hiking abandoned county roads and walking some of the distance off trail walking to navigate the heavily dissected hill country. Over 8 miles of creeks and streams drain the property  – each one cutting a steep ravine whose sides are carpeted with wildflowers. Common flowers abound and the rock formations at Ohio Hanging Rock are spectacular!!   More Information…

Fort Hill

Difficult – 4.5 mi. 1300 acre forest preserve boasts stunning floral showcases bordering Baker Fork. The rock formations are stunning and include a rock arch. Fort Hill is the oldest finest and largest contiguous forest in Ohio. A 2000 year old American Indian earthwork rims the ridgetop, bordering an ancient ceremonial site. More Information…

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.Strait Creek lies just south of Fort Hill in the botanically diverse Serpent Mound cryptoexplosion crater region where a meteor struck millions of years ago. More Information…