The range of the Great Smoky Mountains rise along the Tennessee - North Carolina border in the southeastern United States. They are a sub-range of the Appalachian Mountains, and form part of the Blue Ridge Mountain range. The Smokies are best known as the home of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which protects most of the range. The range is home to an estimated 187,000 acres of old growth forest, constituting the largest such stand east of the Mississippi River -- and this is a lot of land for some of the most beautiful wildflowers to be found anywhere.
If you love the great outdoors and wildflowers you will love to slowly cruise throughout the Great Smoky Mountains from spring time right up to the autumn. The profusion of colors from wildflowers, trees, and grasses are a memorable, enjoyable sight to see. If you love wildflowers and taking pictures of them you just might want to treat yourself to a vacation in the Smokies.
Throughout the Smokies there are wildflowers to be found along trails in the mountains and valleys, so you will want to watch for them when out hiking.
Dutchman's Breeches are native to the rich woods of
North America. The name comes from the flower itself which looks like a pair of breeches hanging upside down. The flowers are white with yellowish petals at the bottom and grow with several "breeches" on long stalks. The foliage is lovely with finely divided leafs. Flowers bloom in the spring.
Solomon's seal is a close relative of Lily of the Valley. The flowers are in little drooping clusters of from two to seven and hang down in an opposite direction to the foliage. They are tubular in shape and of a creamy or waxy white color with a yellowish-green overlay. They have a lovely sweet scent. After the flowers have finished blooming the small berries appear. These are about the size of a pea, of a blackish-blue color, varying to purple and red. Flowers bloom from mid Spring to Early Summer.
The bee balm, in colors from candy-apple red to pure white and deep blue, are enticing to hummingbirds and pollinating insects. The flowers are produced in dense profusion at the ends of the stem. Flowers bloom in mid to late summer.
Other wildflowers that grow in the Great Smoky Mountains are rhododendrons, azaleas, mountain laurel and orchids.
So, for the lover of the outdoors, wildflowers, and photography, then the Great Smoky Mountains is a wonderful destination to plan on. If you would prefer a guided tour that will take you to all the right places to see these lovely wildflowers, you might want to check out the annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Check with the park for the best times to register for their next pilgrimage event. The possibilities of creating a scrapbook of wildflower photos and notes on your pilgrimage will provide you with beautiful memories. And you may want to go back every year.
The national park offers opportunities for day hiking, backpacking, and camping in designated areas and shelters. Most of the park's trail shelters are located along the Appalachian Trail or a short distance away on side trails. In addition to the Appalachian Trail shelters used mostly for extended backpacking trips there are three shelters in the park that are not located on the Appalachian Trail.
Designated back-country campsites are scattered throughout the park. A permit, available at ranger stations and trail heads, is required for all back-country camping. Reservations are required for many of the campsites and all of the shelters. A maximum stay of one night, in the case of shelters, or three nights, in the case of campsites, will have an impact on your vacation plans, so you will want to check out other local lodgings for more choices in Gatlinburg, Tennessee at the north entrance to the park, or Cherokee, Maggie Valley, Bryson City in North Carolina on the south side of the park.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the busiest national park in the United States. Tourists flock there every year, so be sure to plan your visit and make any necessary reservations in advance.
Dutchmans Breeches, Public Domain
62nd Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, April 25 - 28, 2012