published Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Wildflower hikes in North Georgia, Southeast Tennessee - April 4-5

Can't tell the difference between bloodroot and a wild geranium?

Upcoming wildflower hikes can put you in the know.

■ Cloudland Canyon State Park -- 122 Cloudland Canyon Park Road, Rising Fawn, Ga. Georgia Girl Guides will lead hikes on Friday, April 4, and Saturday, April 12, through Sitton's Gulch to see what's blooming in the limestone-rich soil. Participants will have a checklist and source books to identify and record the different species. The outing, suggested for ages 10 and older, follows a flat, one-mile trail along the river. Reservations are required; go to www.georgiagirlguides.com.

■ Sequatchie Valley Institute -- 1233 Cartwright Loop, Whitwell, Tenn. Naturalists and bio-enthusiasts familiar with the geography, ecology and biology of the Sequatchie Valley will go along on the spring wildflower hikes scheduled at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 5, and noon Sunday, April 13 (rescheduled from the rained-out March 29 outing). All times are Central. Participants will need to arrive an hour early, and they'll be divided into two groups. One group will meander for one to two hours on an easy to moderate hike through the woodlands. The other will go on a three- to four-hour adventure into the canyon. The hike is moderate to difficult, so water, trail food, a hat and sturdy shoes are recommended. Among the species expected to be seen are ragwort, buckeye, bloodroot, trillium, hepatica, trout lily, phlox, facilia, wild geranium and dogwood. Kids of all ages are welcome, but no pets are allowed as the entire area is a nature preserve. Cost is based on a sliding-scale donation of $5 to $20, to be used for the nonprofit center's educational programs. RSVP (and find directions) at svionline.org.

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