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Spring is almost here, which means so are the gorgeous Smoky Mountain wildflowers! Every spring, people travel to the Smoky Mountains to see the breathtaking scene of the wildflowers blanketing the mountains. Here are 5 interesting facts about the Smoky Mountain wildflowers and where you can find them when you visit:
1. More Than 1,500 Flowering Plants
There are more than 1,500 kinds of flowering plants that grow in the Great Smoky Mountains! This is more than any other American national park! The park is even sometimes referred to as the “Wildflower National Park.” Some of the most popular flowers in the park include trout lilies, crested dwarf irises, wild geraniums and flame azaleas. When you visit in the spring, you’ll have the chance to see all of these gorgeous flowers!
2. Spring Ephemerals First to Grow
Spring ephemerals are the first type of flower to grow. They typically can be seen from February through April in the park, then are gone by May or June. Trillium, violets and lady slipper orchids are just a few of the spring ephemerals that you will be able to find in the park!
3. Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage Held Every Year
Every year, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park hosts the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage! The Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage is a week-long festival of programs and guided walks and hikes that explore the diversity of life in the park. The event offers 165 programs for visitors to enjoy. In previous years, programs at the event included fungi, ferns, wildflowers, birds, park history and more!
4. Wildflower Walks to View the Flowers
A popular activity at the park during the spring is the Wildflower Walks. There are certain trails in the park that are especially good for viewing the spring wildflowers. The Cove Hardwood Self-guiding Nature Trail is a ¾-mile loop trail that offers some of the best wildflower viewing in the whole park! Another great trail for seeing the wildflowers is Porters Creek Trail. The best time to see gorgeous views of wildflowers on the trail is from late March through April. The first 1.5 miles of the trail are perfect for wildflower viewing! Check out more of our favorite spring hikes in the Smokies where you can see the wildflowers.
5. Spring is the Best Time to See the Flowers
If you’re wondering when the best time to visit the Smoky Mountains is so you can see the wildflowers, start planning your trip soon! Spring is the best time to see the flowers. The peak of spring wildflower blooming usually occurs in mid to late April. Plus, springtime has the perfect weather to go for a hike and see the flowers up close! If you can’t make it in the spring, don’t worry! In the summer, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of flowers like red cardinal flowers, pink turtleheads, small purple-fringed orchids and so many more!
For a place to stay when you come to view the wildflowers, try a Gatlinburg TN cabin! You’ll be close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and all the beautiful wildflowers. Start planning your spring trip to the Smoky Mountains today!