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.

 

Campaign Property – Otter Banks at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary

Difficult  – 3 to 3.5 mi. Featuring the Arc’s newest land campaign project- Otter Banks at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary! Otter Banks is a 66 acre tract located in the Highlands Nature Sanctuary. This property will protect an entire mile of frontage on Rocky Fork Creek in the area known as “Sanctuary West.”  The best wildflower display in the region! The karst/cliff ecosystem of the bluffs of Otter Banks is outstanding – with a classic karst assemblage of Large-flowered and Snow trilliums, Large Flowered Bellwort, False Rue Anemone, and Miterwort.  More Information…

Campaign Property – Rock Run

Difficult  –  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…

Campaign Property – 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…

Parker Woods & Sad Song Creek at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary

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…

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 & Maude’s Cedar Narrows

Easy but SHOWY – 2 miles 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. Maude’s Cedar Narrows Trail overlooks the Rocky Fork Creek and follows the Franklin Branch tributary providing stunning wildflower displays. More Information…

Kamelands Trail at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary

Easy – 2 mile loop. Kamelands Trail is located .5 mile from Cave Road along US Route 50. The trail leads through rolling meadows and into a forested corridor along the Rocky Fork Creek. The trail boasts immense ancient oaks, interesting rock formations as well as spring wildflowers along the forested corridor. 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…

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 Trail at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary

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…

Davis Memorial State Nature Preserve and Chalet Nivale

Moderate/Easy – 2.5 mi. Visit up to three notable natural areas in the Scioto Brush Creek watershed, Davis Memorial State Nature Preserve and  Chalet Nivale, 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…

Shoemaker State Nature Preserve and Plum Run Prairie

Moderate/Easy – 2.5 mi. Visit Shoemaker State Nature Preserve and Plum Run Prairie, 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…