Great Smoky Mountains shot of wildflowers growing on the ground

Gatlinburg Celebrates 65 Years of Botanical Magic

The annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage is as much a part of Great Smoky Mountain tradition as log cabins, pancakes and Dolly Parton.

When you visit White Oak Lodge and Resort in the spring, this exploration of nature makes a perfect outing. Watch Gatlinburg blossom into all things botanical from April 21-25, 2015.

The Pilgrimage event is sponsored by the Great Smoky Mountain Association, and 2015 marks 65 years of flora and fauna education for locals and tourists alike.

Everyone from the serious botanist to the weekend gardener can experience unprecedented access to some of the nation’s leading botanical experts as well as Appalachian wildlife authorities.

Through seminars and guided tours, showcasing varieties of wildflowers, plants, ferns, mosses, trees and shrubs, as well as birds, reptiles and amphibians, each participant has the opportunity to expand his or her knowledge of the Smokies’ native wildlife.

There are more than 145 programs over the course of five days, with titles like:

  • Birding
  • Wildflower Walk
  • Basic Tree Identification
  • Edible Mushroom Walk
  • Ecology and Evolution of Fireflies
  • Black Bear and Wild Hog Walk
  • Night Owl Prowl
  • Birds and Butterflies

While most classes take place outdoors, a number of educational classroom sessions and evening entertainment takes place in W.L. Mills Conference Center in the Gatlinburg Convention Center.

Enjoy a relaxing hike or class while unlocking the mysteries of the extensive natural wonders tucked throughout the Great Smoky Mountains. The Wildflower Pilgrimage is Gatlinburg’s sign that Spring is a sure thing.

What are your favorite signs of spring?

Victoria Hoffman

A native of New Jersey, Victoria isn't entirely sure how she ended up in Kansas City, but has enjoyed writing, editing, creating, communicating and marketing for high-profile accounts throughout the city ever since. In her spare time, Victoria is an actor (and active) with local community and city theatre.