Gems to discover this wildflower weekend

Wildflower Weekend will put a spring in your hiking boots!
Get outside and marvel at the New River Gorge’s tapestry of colorful plants. Wildflower Weekend runs April 22-24 and our parks are blooming with activities and jaunts.

Here’s an inside peek:

Where the wild things are

Lady Slipper

Yellow Lady Slipper

The Gorge area has the most floral diversity in the region. Now that it’s spring, you’ll see a host of petaled personalities waking up: squirrel corn, pink lady’s slipper, trout lily, Dutchman’s breeches and flame azalea, just to name a few.

Here are a few event highlights:

5 parks will lead free guided hikes: New River Gorge National River, Babcock State Park, Hawks Nest State Park, Little Beaver State Park and Pipestem Resort State Park.
Get your hands dirty April 22. Battle against garlic mustard, an invasive species in the New River Gorge and Pipestem. Call ahead and make a reservation.

An outdoor weekend

Saturday and Sunday are filled with flower power, too! Check out these activities:
Join naturalists for Hike Into Spring! Explore Grandview, where you’ll see cheerful landscapes all trussed up for spring. The 2.5-mile hike has some strenuous terrain, but you’ll learn all about the Gorge’s wonders. Be sure to call and make a reservation.
Take a short trek at Twin Falls Resort State Park and see what’s blooming during the Explore Nature’s Bouquet Hike. The .75-mile walk takes you down Buck Run Trail, which has some steep terrain.
Take the Old Growth Ecology Hike for a change of pace. After all, flowers aren’t the only wild things blooming! Amble past venerable groves of trees and learn all about local ecology at Carnifex Battlefield State Park.
Preserve those blooms— digitally, that is— in the Basic Wildflower Photography workshop.There will be cameras for you to try if you’re a shutterbug newbie. Or, bring your own equipment and learn plant portraiture. You’ll end up with a print to take home, too!
See waterfalls and wildflowers at Falls & Flowers: the Nature of Brush Creek. It’s a scenic 3-mile walk, but you can add a 1-mile Bluestone Bonus to the day along the river.
Which Wildflower Weekend events will you choose?