Phlox

Spring blooms of wild blue phlox growing in the New River Gorge are among the wide array of wildflowers to be seen in the area at this time of year. The National Park Service's Spring Nature Fling, formerly known as the New River Gorge Wildflower Weekend, is underway, offering events ranging from guided hikes, art exhibits, photography workshops, old growth nature treks, star watching and more.

GLEN JEAN — Spring is here, and so is a regional celebration of ecology, Spring Nature Fling (formerly known as New River Gorge Wildflower Weekend). Now expanded throughout April and May, this annual event highlights the wonders of nature in central Appalachia. Join guided hikes with rangers and naturalists, explore nature hot spots, try your hand at nature art, learn about regional plants through art created by local youth, and more.

Event programs and exhibits will be conducted at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, Tamarack, and the West Virginia State Parks of Babcock, Carnifex Ferry Battlefield, Hawks Nest, Pipestem Resort and Twin Falls Resort.

This event schedule is available at www.nps.gov/neri/planyourvisit/wildflower-weekend.htm, but be sure to check for updates to this listing for additional programs. All programs are free unless noted. Social distancing and current health protocols will be practiced during all event activities. Many activities do require reservations and have a limit on participation.

This year’s celebration again includes citizen scientist elements, where anyone can contribute their nature observations. Use the free I-Naturalist app from a smart device to document and share news of the natural world around us as a citizen scientist.

Participants should bring water and wear sturdy walking shoes for hikes. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Tools like binoculars, a hand lens, camera, field guides, and smart devices pre-loaded with nature apps are suggested but not required. Follow and post photos at #SpringNatureFling to join in this springtime fun.

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