The Smokies Come To Life With Spring Just Around The Corner

Spring Wildflowers In The SmokiesThe Great Smoky Mountains offer their own beauty in every season but it is always thrilling to watch as spring approaches and gains steam transforming the mountains with new life, increased wildlife activity, the blooming of flowers and the budding of trees. There are numerous reasons to plan a visit during spring, with a multitude of festivals, activities and workshops. Today registration opened for the 63rd Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage. The 5 day event in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be held from April 23rd-27th this year and fills up quick. Let’s take a look at a few of the offerings and reasons to register now. It’s an event not to miss if you love the Smokies.

All 5 days are packed with activity. Most programs are held outdoors in the park with some classes and seminars being held at various indoor venues in Gatlinburg. This year’s program will offer 146 professionally guided walks and presentations allowing participants the opportunity explore the region’s flowers, fauna and natural history.  Many walks offer the chance to explore the back country, led by seasoned hikers. For those of you who have photography as a hobby, you are invited to enter the photography competition as well. The competition includes categories for flora, fauna and landscape. Winners will be chosen by votes of those registered for the pilgrimage and an awards ceremony will be held. Just looking to improve your photography skills? A beginner’s photography workshop will be offered with outdoor, hands-on instruction.

In recognition of the 175th anniversary of the Trail of Tears, Wednesday’s indoor events focus on Cherokee culture. There will be talks about the Trail of Tears, Cherokee Culture After The Trail and Cherokee plant lore. Prefer an outdoor experience while learning more about the Cherokee? Join Native American, Karen LaMere at Metcalf Bottoms Picnic area on Wednesday morning for “Native People’s Use Of Nature’s Garden” and listen to a history that has been passed down through the generations as well as taste and learn uses of native plants gathered from nature. Davy Arch, a Cherokee woodcarver and storyteller will also lecture on Cherokee culture and demonstrate carving, mask making and more. His presentation is a great time to learn how plants played a part in Cherokee arts all the way back to the ice age.

If you are a seasoned hiker you are sure to enjoy one of the longer, more strenuous hikes. A Wildflower Hike along Ramsey Cascades Trail will allow you to see a diverse range of wildflowers as you walk through one of the old-growth forests up to the 100′ falls. Looking for a beautiful but easier hike? Take the opportunity to walk the Noah “Bud” Ogle Trail and see many different wildflowers and American chestnut tree remnants in the fields of the homestead. Interested in the wildlife in the mountains? Join David Whitehead, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Manager as he describes the history, tracking signs, human impact and environmental issues of the areas black bears and wild hogs while enjoying a 2-3 mile easy walk at Little River Trail head.

This is just a very small sample of the wide variety of events and opportunities offered at the event this year. There is something for everyone who is interested in spending more time on the trail and learning more about the area’s heritage and the Smoky Mountains. You may download a full event schedule, register and more at the official event website.

The mountains offer year round beauty, events and chances to get closer to nature. One of the ways to make it easy to spend as much time as possible surrounded by the majesty of the mountains is to purchase an investment property or Smoky Mountain home away from home. The market is busy with homes moving at a steady pace but there are plenty of great opportunities available. Spend some time at our website searching what’s available and we are certain you will find your perfect Smoky Mountain get away.

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