Best Wildflower Hikes in North America?

Cheryl77(z6b Nashville)November 30, 2004

Now that the dark of November is about to sink into the darker, colder days of December, I'm indulging myself by envisioning the wildflower hikes I'd like to take next spring and summer. What are some of the best you've experienced? I'm interested in all manner of hikes--be they day trips, hour jaunts, or full back country excursions.

I'll begin with my #1, #2, and #3 sites (this is only in North America).

1) The Great Smoky Mts. Wildflower Pilgrimage. (A week of hikes among the greatest abundance and variety of wildflowers I've ever seen. Truly the closest I've been to Eden on earth.)

2) Shakerag Hollow on the Perimeter Shade at the Sewanee University (the first time I hiked this trail, I heard it before I saw it. The slope was covered in purple phacelia and there were so many bumble bees, the air vibrated with their buzzing).

3) American Basin in the San Juan Mts. of southwest Colorado. A spectacle of a colors against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains (this was in late July at elevations of 11,000+ feet.

I'm interested in where others have found their favorites of all time.


Here is a link that might be useful: Tennessee Wildflowers

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croakie_SC(SC Zone 8)

I haven't really done any wildflower treks. We do have a heritage area here where you can find great woodland flowers in early spring. The Stevens Creek Heritage Preserve is a great couple of hour hike. Massive trees and lots of different kinds of woodland flowers including saxifrage, trout lillies, ginger, trilliums, dutchman's breeches, shooting star and many others. My Audubon group hikes it every spring.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2004 at 6:59AM
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The Bankhead National Forest in NW Alabama in April. You cannot step off the path without trodding on wild flowers. I expecially like the Thompson Creek Trail and the Borden Creek Trail. Also, Buck's Pocket State Park in AL is fabulous in the spring. Linda

    Bookmark   December 1, 2004 at 9:33AM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

we try to do something similar. its not necessarily a wildflower trek but we call it a prairie tour. my sister and a few friends take a long weekend and hike through prairie sites in a certain region. every year we pick a geographical area and hike different praires or natural areas each day. we stay at different bed & breakfasts each night. very cool weekend. cant say i have a "favorite" one - as they all are great....

    Bookmark   December 1, 2004 at 2:24PM
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There are thousands of spectacular wildflower hikes....hundreds in the Canadian Rockies. Here's a few photos from a hike we took late in the season...after most of the wildflowers had come and gone There were still, however, some 'gems' to be found.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2004 at 6:52PM
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A great wildflower place to walk here is Bowman Hill wildflower preserve Sarah

Here is a link that might be useful: Bowman Hill wildflower preserve

    Bookmark   December 1, 2004 at 8:30PM
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abgardeneer(Z3, Calgary)

Another from the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park...early summer with glacier lilies, and their contemporaries:

    Bookmark   December 1, 2004 at 9:04PM
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Misery Bay on Manitoulin island - orchids galore
Purdon nature reserve near Ottawa
Hilton Falls near Campbellville just west of Milton

    Bookmark   December 4, 2004 at 7:25PM
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Anywhere in the Rockies from Mid May through mid August. The further north the better. About mid July here in Montana and north across the Canadian border is breathtaking.

But caution. You might not want to see the wildflower displays. It'll spoil you for life.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2004 at 9:40PM
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naniemama(z7 MS)

My favorite place is in the Tombigbee National Forest,Ackerman Division.This is in Mississippi.There is Choctaw Lake campground and Recreation Area,and they have hiking Trails.On further around is the primitive campsites out in the woods.There you will find miles and miles of bicycle trails that you can also hike.You will not only see a variety of flora,but will come face to face with all sorts of wildlife.Deer,racoon,rabbits, and all kinds of birds.To me this is the most womderful place on earth,and hope some of you will like it too.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2004 at 8:44AM
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LeslieAnne_westTX(z6/7 TX)

Crested Butte, Colorado, during the annual Crested Butte Wildflower Festival... next year's dates are July 11-17, 2005...


Here is a link that might be useful: Crested Butte Wildflower Festival, 2005

    Bookmark   December 10, 2004 at 9:27PM
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Grand Mesa Colorado near Grand Junction

    Bookmark   December 22, 2004 at 10:23AM
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taylmat_OK(z6B Tulsa)

The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is maintained by the Nature Conservancy in rural Osage County in northeastern Oklahoma. You can see a 38,000 acre remnant of prairie--an area roughly 3 times the size of Manhattan--that's never been plowed. They reintroduced buffalo on the preserve several years ago, now the herd is over 2,000 strong. Depending on when you visit, you'll see all of the typical midwestern prairie natives. I think it's best in the summer when the coneflowers and milkweeds are at their peak.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tallgrass Prairie Preserve

    Bookmark   January 19, 2005 at 10:01AM
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The Superstition Wilderness east of Phoeniz in March/April...especially after a winter of heavy rain which means this should be an excellent wildflower year.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2005 at 11:18AM
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gladbob(Z4 MINN)


    Bookmark   January 19, 2005 at 9:41PM
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intheforest(4b Iowa)

Effgy Mound NM, Iowa, overlooking the Mississippi. Tallgrass Prairie, great woodland flowers, savannah. hike different praires or natural areas each day. Even a handicap hiking Trail. 1/2 doz great State Parks also within 1hr. also Backbone State Parks North entence has a great woodland flowers drive in early spring.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2005 at 9:37AM
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jhl49(Zone 7)

The Pocket of Pigeon Mountain in Georgia would not be a long drive for you. It's considered by many to be the finest wildflower site in Georgia based on the diversity and concentration of spring wildflowers. An early trip (third week of March) should give you a display of masses of bluebells and celandine poppies. This site has large populations of Trillium decumbens and flexipies and lots more. If you go once you will want to return at a different time to see the ones you miss blooming. It's an easy day hike. You can spend two to four hours or explore further on some adjacent trails.
Check out this link:

Here's directions:From downtown LaFayette, Ga., which is on US 27 BUSINESS (Main St.), go a few blocks south and turn west on GA 193 for 8 miles to Davis Crossroads (there's a little store on the right with this name), where GA 341 comes in from the right. At this junction turn left onto Hog Jowl Road and go 2.6 miles, passing Mt. Herman Baptist
Church. At the top of the next hill, turn left onto Pocket Rd. and drive 1.2 miles until the road ends. Park in the Pocket Trailhead parking lot on the left. There was a sign at the Pocket Road/Hog Jowl Road intersection but last spring it was damaged and I don't know if it's been fixed.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2005 at 1:05PM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

Joyce Kilmer State Forest on the GA/NC border. I'm not sure which town its close to. I was there in April and it will take your breath away.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2005 at 7:46PM
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This is an old thread but I'm hoping some more people can add to it or maybe the original posters have visited some new places they can tell us about.

I was looking at the link Taylmat provided for the Nature Conservancy and noticed you can search by state. Click on the state name and then "Places We Protect" on the left. There may be places in your own state that you're unaware of to see wildflowers.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Nature Conservancy

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 7:12AM
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drivebytrucker(Zone 4 - WI)

A good hike is at the Ridges Sanctuary in Bailey's Harbor, WI. It's a series of forested ridges, which were former L. Michigan shorelines, with wet, boggy swales between the ridges. you get an amazing diversity of plant life in a fairly small locale. There's approx. 20 species of native orchids found there, pitcher plants & sundews, dwarf irises, the list goes on....

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 1:42PM
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