Spring Nature Fling

Rangers and visitors on wildflower hik
Hikers stop to examine wildflowers on the Hike Into Spring hike.

Sherry Hogue

 

Celebrate Spring in Appalachia at the 2021 Spring Nature Fling (formerly known as Wildflower Weekend)

Join us for ranger-guided programs in local national and state park sites!

April - May, 2021


 
young girl examining a wildflower
A young girl gets up close to examine a wildflower.

NPS photo/Dave Bieri

Celebrate the glories of spring in Appalachian from the rim of the gorge to the river! Explore the area’s natural diversity and contribute as a citizen scientist at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, Tamarack, and the state parks of Babcock, Carnifex Ferry Battlefield, Hawks Nest, and Twin Falls Resort.

All programs are FREE unless noted. Social distancing and current health protocols will be practiced during all event activities. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Bring water and wear sturdy walking shoes for guided walks. Snacks, binoculars, a hand lens, field guides, a favorite smart device pre-loaded with nature apps, and a camera are also useful.



 

Event Schedule


Every THURSDAY, 9:00 - 10:00 am: Get Active in the Park - High Fitness + Yoga.
WHERE: Burnwood Day Use site, New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Lansing, WV.
Come join Active Southern West Virginia Community Captain Sarah Caldwell Edwards for a new fun fitness opportunity, a fun fitness class that incorporates interval training with pop music, and intense easy-to-follow fitness choreography.

ANYTIME: Wildflower Hawks Nest Hot Spot.
WHERE: Hawks Nest Rail Trail, Ansted, WV.
Enjoy a self-paced naturalist stroll on the Hawks Nest Rail Trail ANYTIME during this event. Take photos of your favorite nature sightings, then share these with others - in person and on social media. #SpringNatureFling #HawksNestRailTrail #HawksNestStatePark Pick up a park trails map at the lodge at Hawks Nest State Park.

GLASS ART DEMONSTRATIONS: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm daily (closed Tuesdays): See or Work with the Nature of Glass.
WHERE: Tamarack’s Studio C near the glass art in Beckley, WV.
See how resident glass blowing expert John DesMeules makes glass often art inspired by nature. Artist’s demonstration schedule may vary. You can even try your hand at this art form by appointment; see cost details at www/.tamarackwv.com/hands-on/glass. GLASSMAKING SESSION APPOINTMENTS required: 304-561-8918 or johnd1227@aol.com

April 2 – May 3, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm daily (closed Tuesdays): Youth Arts in the Park 2021 Appalachian Spring Wildflower Art Contest Exhibit.
WHERE: Tamarack in Beckley, WV and online WWW.NPS.GOV/NERI.
See wildflower and wildlife art exhibit created by K – 12 grade students of Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh, and Summers Counties in the theater lobby of the Hulett C. Smith Theater and the David L. Dickirson Fine Arts Gallery. #NRGYAP

April 14, 4:30 - 8:30 pm: WV Master Naturalist Core Wildflower Course.
WHERE: Lower Glade Creek trailhead in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve (near New River and next to Glade Creek Primitive Campground across the river from Prince, WV).
Explore the classification, diversity, and ecology of wildflowers, plus learn and practice wildflower ID skills in this certification course. RESERVATIONS requested by April 13: 304-465-2632 or jodi_french-burr@nps.gov.

April 17 – June 15, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm daily (closed Tuesdays): Metamorphosis Art Exhibit.
WHERE
: David L. Dickirson Fine Arts Gallery at Tamarack in Beckley, WV.
See this springtime exhibition that celebrates all things “change.” Many pieces highlight the wonders of change in nature. This exhibition also includes the Youth Arts in the Parks 2021 Appalachian Spring Wildflower Arts Contest’s Best in Show artists.

April 18, 1:00 - 3:00 pm: Get Active in the Park - Glade Creek Hike.
WHERE: Lower Glade Creek trailhead in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve (near New River and next to Glade Creek Primitive Campground across the river from Prince, WV).
Join WVU Tech Adventure Recreation student Active Southern West Virginia Community Captains for a hike on this hidden gem of a trail to see beautiful flora and fauna and get a peek at some scenic waterfalls.

April 23, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm: Earth Stewardship Project: Garlic Mustard Pull.
WHERE:
Rend trailhead off Rt. 25 near Thurmond in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.
Wear long sleeves, long pants, sturdy walking shoes, and work gloves, plus bring water and lunch. Help park natural resource staff stop the spread of garlic mustard, a non-native, invasive plant that out-competes native herbs and wildflowers. RESERVATIONS requested by April 22 (limited to 10 participants): 304-465-6534 or katie_kull@nps.gov.

April 23, 6:00 – 8:00 pm: Friday and the Frogs.
WHERE:
Grandview Visitor Center at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Grandview, WV.
Stroll to the small ponds at Grandview in search of the sights and sounds of amphibians. Be prepared for moderate terrain on this 1.5-mile walk. RESERVATIONS required by April 22 (limit 25 participants): 304-465-2632 or jodi_french-burr@nps.gov.

April 24, 9:30 am - 4:00 pm: Hike Into Spring 2021 Remix.
WHERE:
Lower Little Laurel trailhead in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve (on Glade Creek Road near the junction of Rt. 41, just across the river from Prince, WV).
Join naturalists on a leisurely 5.0-mile hike from New River up to Grandview and back on the Little Laurel Trail, finding wildflowers and other natural wonders along the way. Be prepared for some steep terrain on this old dirt road. Bring a lunch and your favorite field guide if desired. RESERVATIONS required by April 23 (limit 25 participants): 304-465-2632 or jodi_french-burr@nps.gov.

April 24: Spring Photography Workshop - Birds of Prey.
WHERE:
Three Rivers Avian Center in Brooks, WV.
Learn and practice the art of bird photography with instructor Steven Rotsch. Sign up for full or half day sessions. www.stevenrotsch.com or 681-264-1065 for workshop times and prices

April 25, 8:00 – 10:00 am: Spring Birding at Babcock.
WHERE:
Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park in Clifftop, WV.
Some binoculars will be available. Stroll the diverse habitats of Babcock in search of spring birds.

April 25, 10:00 - 11:30 am: Nature Journaling with a Ranger.
WHERE:
Lower Glade Creek trailhead in New River Gorge National Park and Preserve (near New River and next to Glade Creek Primitive Campground across the river from Prince, WV).
Join a ranger to learn and practice nature journaling for ages 12 and up. Art supplies provided or bring your own. Bring a camp stool if desired (if you don’t want to sit on the ground). RESERVATIONS required by April 24 (limit 10 participants): 304-465-2632 or jodi_french-burr@nps.gov.

April 25, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm: New River Old-growth Hike.
WHERE
: Stone Cliff Trailhead at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve just over a mile from Thurmond, WV.
Bring water and lunch. Discover nature of the forest near New River, including old-growth trees, on this six-mile round trip hike. RESERVATIONS required by April 23 (limit 25 participants): 304-465-2632 or jodi_french-burr@nps.gov.

April 25 - May 1: Virtual New River Birding & Nature Festival.
Join in on FREE daily bird watching, video highlight and photos, stories, raffles, discussions, and T-shirt sales (fund raiser for 501C3 Fayette County Education Fund’s student environmental and leadership training program). www.birding-wv.com

April 29, 3:00 – 5:00 pm: BAC Nature Quick Sketch Art Field Trip.
WHERE:
Grandview’s Playground Shelter near the Grandview Visitor Center at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Grandview, WV.
Discover nature through art in this FREE quick sketch drawing workshop let by Beckley Art Center instructor Beni Holley. See detailed activity description for materials needed on event listing. RESERVATIONS required: BAC Art Field Trip ft. Quick Sketch Tickets, Thu, Apr 29, 2021 at 3:00 PM | Eventbrite or www.beckleyartcenter.com

May 1, 9:30 – 11:00 am: Carnifex Old Growth Nature Trek.
WHERE:
Patterson House at Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park in Summersville, WV.
Hike to Pierson Hollow’s old-growth forest to take a closer look at this diverse ecosystem, including rare species. Be prepared for an easy one-mile hike with some moderate terrain.

May 8, 10:00 – 11:30 am: Twin Falls’ Falls Hike.
WHERE:
Falls Trail parking lot at Twin Falls Resort State Park in Mullens, WV.
See both waterfalls for which this park is named on this 1.25-mile moderate hike on the Falls Trail. Explore spring wildflowers and hear the history of these falls along the way.

May 8, 2:00 – 4:30 pm: Turkey Spur Orchid Trek.
WHERE:
Grandview’s Shelter 1 parking at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Grandview, WV.
Hike the Grandview Rim Trail in search of orchids and other wildflowers. Be prepared for moderate terrain on this 3-mile walk. RESERVATIONS required by May 7 (limit 25 participants): 304-465-2632 or jodi_french-burr@nps.gov.

May 14 - 16, 2021: Spring Photography Workshop @ Twin Falls.
WHERE:
Twin Falls Resort State Park, WV. Learn and practice the photography skills with instructors Steve Shaluta, Steven Rotsch, and park Superintendent Scott Durham. www.wvstateparks.com/event/spring-photogrphy-workshop-at-twin-falls/ or 304-294-4000 for class times, workshop prices, and lodging/meal packages

May 15, 8:00 – 10:00 pm: Star Watching Party.
WHERE:
Boley Lake at Babcock State Park in Clifftop, WV.
Enjoy the wonders of the night sky while hanging out on the shores of the lake. Bring a blanket and red-filtered flashlight. Some star watching tools will be available. RESERVATIONS required by May 7 (limit 25 participants): 304-465-2632 or jodi_french-burr@nps.gov.

May 16, 2:00 – 3:30 pm: Rhodo Wander.
WHERE:
Grandview Visitor Center at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Grandview, WV.
Take a leisurely stroll around the side to see and photograph the beautiful blooms of Catawba Rhododendron. RESERVATIONS required by May 15 (limit 25 participants): 304-465-2632 or jodi_french-burr@nps.gov.

May 22, 2:30 – 4:30 pm: Trees are Terrific Hike.
WHERE:
Burnwood Day Use Area picnic shelter at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in Lansing, WV.
Hike the Burnwood Trail to discover the diversity of area tree species and how to identify these plants. Be prepared for some moderate terrain on this 1.5-mile walk. RESERVATIONS required by May 21 (limit 25 participants): 304-465-2632 or jodi_french-burr@nps.gov.
 
wildflower painting

Spring Wildflower Art Contest

Learn how you can enter the 2020 Appalachian Spring Wildflower Art Contest!

2009 Wildflower Weekend video

View a video about Wildflower Weekend 2009, produced by WV Public Broadcasting in June 2009

Last updated: April 19, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 246, 104 Main Street
Glen Jean, WV 25846

Phone:

(304) 465-0508

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