25th Annual Wildflower Saturday

Weekend of Friday, May 5th & Saturday 6th, 2017
Wildflower Saturday is an annual event held in DeSoto State Park atop Lookout Mountain in Fort Payne, Alabama, always the first Saturday of May
Springtime at DeSoto State Park is truly beautiful, with wildflowers & trees blooming around every corner. Join DeSoto State Park staff & guest speakers for a wonderful weekend of learning about the many species of blooming plants found on Lookout Mountain. Choose to stay the whole weekend, or just come for the day to enjoy the hikes and programs.

Weekend starts off with a welcome social and guest speaker program on Friday night, a day full of hikes to choose from and a guest speaker on Saturday night. 

 

Schedule at a glance:

Friday, May 5th~

6:00-7:15-Welcome Social & presentation by DeSoto State Park Staff-Superintendent Ken Thomas & Naturalist Brittney Hughes (Green Pitcher Plants)-Lodge

Saturday, May 6th~

                7:00 am-DeSoto’s Mountain Inn Restaurant begins serving breakfast buffet

                9:00 am-Hikes start at DeSoto’s Country Store (3 hikes heading out)

                11:30 am-DeSoto’s Mountain Inn Restaurant begins serving lunch

                1:00 pm-Hikes start at DeSoto’s Country Store (3 hikes heading out)

                3:00 pm-Hikes start at DeSoto’s Country Store (3 hikes heading out)

                5:00 pm-DeSoto’s Mountain Inn Restaurant begins serving dinner buffet

                7:15 pm-Presentations by Alabama State Botanist Wayne Barger-Lodge


Fee: Free & Open to everyone. No pre-registration required. We do ask that groups over 10 please RSVP to help us make everyone's wildflower experience better!

Saturday Hikes: DeSoto's trails can vary from fairly flat terrain to slightly steep inclines & rocky ground. Each hike is marked for its difficulty level. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear & bring along water & snacks along on the hikes. Throughout the course of the day you will be able to choose from 3 separate hikes during the day, each hike with different leaders. 


 

                                

The Azalea Cascade Hike:
Starts on DeSoto's Azalea Cascade Boardwalk and ends at the Country Store.
 Meets behind DeSoto's Country Store on the deck
Hike Times: 9:00 a.m.
                     1:00 p.m.
                    3:00 p.m.
Easy to Moderate 
This hike has the easest terrain, suitable for people with limited mobility or younger children. Starts out along the Talmadge Butler ADA-Accessible Boardwalk Trail & continues along for both an elevated & ground-floor view of the hardwood forest. Ends at Azalea Cascade, with an option to venture off of the boardwalk on a trail that ends back at the country store.
Various plants to see: Pink Lady Slipper, Mountain Laurel, Wild Ginger, Catesby’s Trillium, Galax, Trout Lilly, Sweet Shrub, Mountain Honeysuckle, Yellowroot, Dwarf Iris, New York Fern, Wild Geranium, Cucumber Magnolia, Wild Azalea, and much more.

 


The Rhododendron Trail Hike:


 Goes from Country Store towards DeSoto's pool area and down the yellow trail, ending at Indian Falls. Meets at DeSoto's Nature Center
Hike Times: 9:00 a.m.
                     1:00 p.m.
                     3:00 p.m.
Moderate to mildly strenuous  
Classified as Moderate to mildly strenuous because of the length and slightly rocky terrain; this hike is great for walking under the forest canopy & among flowing creeks. Follows along the bluff line overlooking the West Fork of Little River, and ends at scenic Indian Falls.
Various plants to see: Catawba Rhododendron, Wild Camellia, Rosebay Rhododendron, Yellowstar Grass, Wild Huckleberry, Mountain Laurel, Trailing Arbutus,  Bluets, Solomon’s Seal, Catesby’s Trillium, Galax, Sweet Shrub, Fringe Tree, Partridgeberry, & much more.


The Little River Hike:
Starts at Indian Falls, follows the yellow trail and circles back to Indian Falls.
 Meets outside DeSoto's Country Store on grass.
Hike Times: 9:00 a.m.
                      1:00 p.m.
                      3:00 p.m.
Moderate to mildly strenuous  
Also classified as moderate to mildly strenuous, this hike starts at Indian Falls & goes down a slight incline to follow along the West Fork of Little River. Terrain is rocky with some minor rock-hopping next to the river. Trail curves around & starts a gradual curve up to the bluff above Little River & ends back at Indian Falls.
Various plants to see: Mountain Honeysuckle, Mountain Laurel, Catawba Rhododendron, Nuttall’s Rayless Goldenrod, Yellowroot, Oakleaf Hydrangea, Indian Cucumber Root, Wood Sorrel, Tag Alder, Ashy Hydrangea, Oxeye Daisy, Coral Honeysuckle, Flatrock Onion, Neverwet, Royal Fern, Joe Pye Weed, Cinnamon Fern, Rattlesnake Plantain and much more.

 

Trail Maps & Wildflower Checklists can be found at the Lodge, Country Store and Nature Center.
All presentations & hikes are free to the Public and no registration required! 

Contact Info:
Brittney M. Hughes,
Park Naturalist at DeSoto State Park
7104 DeSoto Parkway NE Fort Payne, AL. 35967
Office: 256.997.5025 OR Fax: 256.845.8286
Email

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Video: Wildflowers and Waterfalls


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