A perfect camping weekend for us is great food, great people and great scenery. The Wildflower Pilgrimage held by the Arc of Appalachia was all of these things.

I don’t remember where we first learned about the Wildflower Weekend, but it has been on our to-do list for a while. I was worried that this year’s late spring and the predicted constant rain would lead to a disappointing event, but I could have been more wrong. The registration fee is rather steep, but includes five delicious meals, two field trips, and two programs. The 2018 mini-theme was vernal pools and their accompanying amphibians.img_7706

Lodging is available for an additional fee at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary – also the headquarters for meals. Long-time Southwest Ohio residents may recognize the Highlands Nature Sanctuary as the old Seven Caves tourist attraction. We stayed at the nearby Paint Creek State Park.

Our Saturday field trip was over an hour and a half drive down to the Ohio River. We were overwhelmed with the hillside carpeted with Dwarf Larkspur and Virginia Bluebells. We were also guided to a secret area awash in Blue-eyed Marys. We finished the afternoon among Wood Poppys and Trillium at Whipple State Nature Preserve.

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Dinner and the evening program were a treat. We even managed to squeeze in a quick hike at the Nature Sanctuary down to the Three Sisters.

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Day two was a walk at a nearby private farm/wetlands restoration area. We explored the pools for salamanders and frogs.img_7711

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This was such a fun and beautiful weekend. Even the rain showers couldn’t cast a shadow over this celebration of spring.

 

 

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