Get Outside, Georgia!

Step into spring…on a Wildflower Hike

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Here’s a question for you: If April showers bring May flowers, then what to May flowers bring?
The answer, of course, is “pilgrims.”
Come on, admit it. That made you smile!
April showers really do bring May flowers, but here in Georgia we don’t have to wait till May. March and April are great wildflower months, too – and to help you experience the season, several of Georgia’s state parks will be offering guided wildflower hikes in the weeks to come.
Most state park wildflower hikes last about two hours. They vary in difficulty from level to moderately strenuous, so there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for you.
What should you bring on your wildflower hike? Comfortable hiking shoes, of course, and a bottle of water. Don’t forget your camera. A walking stick can also be helpful – and at least one hike recommends bug spray as well.
Here’s a look at several upcoming state park wildflower hike opportunities.

Sweetwater Creek State Park (Lithia Springs)
Saturday, March 4, (2 - 4 p.m.); Sunday, March 5, (4 - 6 p.m.); Sunday, March 26, (3:30 - 5:30 p.m.); Sunday, April 2, (1 - 3 p.m.)
Located just west of Atlanta, Sweetwater Creek State Park is a great place to visit at any time of year, but during wildflower season it’s especially enjoyable. This moderately strenuous two-mile hike takes you through beautiful wildflower habitats. Early favorite varieties typically seen are Hepatica, Bloodroot, Wild Geranium, Wild Iris, Sorrel, and Green and Gold. Visitors may see up to 30 flower species. Meet in the Interpretive Center, wear good hiking shoes and bring water. $5 plus $5 parking. Info at 770-732-5876.

Cloudland Canyon State Park (Trenton)
Wednesday, March 15, (10 a.m. - 12 p.m.); Saturday, March 18, (10 a.m. - 12 p.m.); Monday, March 20, (10 a.m. - 12 p.m.); Saturday, March 25, (2 - 4 p.m.); Sunday, March 26, (2 - 4 p.m.); Tuesday, March 28, (2 - 4 p.m.); Monday, April 3, (10 a.m. - 12 p.m.); Wednesday, April 5, (2 - 4 p.m.); Friday, April 7, (10 a.m. - 12 p.m.); Saturday, April 8, (2 - 4 p.m.); Wednesday, April 12, (10 a.m. - 12 p.m.); Saturday, April 15, (2 - 4 p.m.); Wednesday, April 19, (10 a.m. - 12 p.m.)
More wildflower adventure awaits you in the northwest corner of the state at Cloudland Canyon State Park, where a one-mile hike through Sitton's Gulch (along a flat riverside trail) brings you face to face with an abundance of blooming wildflowers in the park’s limestone-rich soil. Using a checklist and identification books to identify and record many of the species in bloom. This hike is for ages 10 and older. Reservations required, and a wildflower identification book is available for pre-order. $5 parking fee. Info at 706-913-7170

Panola Mountain State Park (Stockbridge)
Saturday, March 4, 2017 (1 p.m. - 4 p.m.); Sunday, March 12, 2017 (9 a.m. - 12 p.m.); Sunday, March 26, 2017 (9 a.m. - 12 p.m.); Saturday, April 1, 2017 (9 a.m. - 12 p.m.); Saturday, April 15, 2017 (1 p.m. - 4 p.m.); Sunday, April 23, 2017 (9 a.m. - 12 p.m.); Saturday, April 29, 2017 (9 a.m. - 12 p.m.); Sunday, May 7, 2017 (9 a.m. - 12 p.m.); Saturday, May 13, 2017 (9 a.m. - 12 p.m.); Sunday, May 21, 2017 (9 a.m. - 12 p.m.); Saturday, May 27, 2017 (9 a.m. - 12 p.m.); Sunday, May 28, 2017 (9 a.m. - 12 p.m.); Monday, May 29, 2017 (9 a.m. - 12 p.m.)
Have you ever wondered why Panola Mountain is a restricted area? Find out on a guided hike for a look at the granite mountain’s ecology and a rare opportunity to see how outcrop plants scrape out a living in such a harsh environment. You’ll look for Diamorpha, Carolina Jessamine, Atamasco Lily and Trout Lily, depending on the date. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring water. Register in advance. This moderately strenuous hike is for ages 10 and older. $5 plus $5 parking. Info at 770-389-7801

Seminole State Park (Donalsonville)
Saturday, May 13, (11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)
Celebrate mothers and the return of spring on this special Mother’s Day Wildflower Hike. This short hike showcases some of the beautiful wildflowers in the park’s wetland ecosystem. Bring water – and bug spray. Close-toed shoes are recommended but not required. Meet at the Park office 30 minutes before the hike and drive to the trail. $5 plus $5 parking. Info at 229-861-3137.

Learn more about these and other upcoming Georgia State Park events at GeorgiaStateParks.org/events.


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