Spring has just about arrived, and you know what that means — time for spring cleaning!
Just kidding. Spring has a lot more to offer than housework. It's the one time a year when the whole of nature seems to suddenly wake up, reminding us all that there's much more to life than work, traffic, cleaning and yes — even Netflix.
And what better way to fully embrace this once-a-year occurrence than to actively seek it out? Watching your trees' leaves grow back is one thing, but chasing wildflowers is embracing the new season on an entirely new level.
If you're new to the world of wildflowers, not to worry! There's tons of information out there on which plants grow where if you're interested in seeing certain ones. But even if you know nothing about plant life, you'll never regret visiting a breathtaking field of wildflowers.
Head To These 6 Places On The East Coast This Spring To See Beautiful Wildflowers
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Image credit: dconvertini/Flickr CC-BY 2.0
Great Smoky Mountains National Park spans across two states. Half of the park is in Tennessee, and the other half is in North Carolina. It's the proud home to over 1,500 kinds of flowering plants.
As you know, spring is the most popular time of year to go looking for wildflowers, but at this national park you don't have to pick and choose. The wildflower selection is so diverse that no matter which season you attend, you'll find multiple species in bloom.
To learn more about which species thrive in which seasons, take a look at the park's wildflower information.
2. Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park is located in Stonewall, Virginia, and is home to 862 species of wildflowers.
Although the selection of wildflowers at Shenandoah isn't as large as that of Great Smoky Mountains, this park does have its own unique perks. As the wildflowers bloom throughout spring, summer and fall, you can enjoy a beautiful drive — or hike — along their infamously beautiful Skyline Drive.
With mileposts guiding your route, you're sure not to miss out on any wildflower siting opportunities.
3. Fort Pierre National Grassland
Fort Pierre National Grassland, located just south of Fort Pierre, South Dakota, spans approximately six miles and offers a lovely array of wildflowers in the spring and summer months.
This protected area, unlike Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah, is more widely known for its prairie view — wildflowers being a key component, of course. It's also well-loved for the activities it offers.
Guests at the Fort Pierre National Grassland are welcome to camp, fish, hunt, ride horses, stay in cabins and play sports. Between the site seeing and these activities, this location has something for the entire family to enjoy.
4. Anna Ruby Falls Trail
Image credit: William McKeehan/Flickr CC-BY 2.0
If you want to forego the big national parks and find a few lesser known wildflower sites, you have to do a little digging. The good news is that with each new site you find, you're likely to discover all kinds of other plant life.
The Anna Ruby Falls Trail, for instance, is a beloved local hiking route in Atlanta, Georgia. As its name suggests, it features gorgeous waterfalls, along with wildflowers and other forest plant life.
5. Chattooga River Trail
Image credit: Joe Plocki/Flickr CC-BY 2.0
The Chattooga River Trail is certainly a unique site seeing opportunity on this list. Depending on how you navigate this trail — it intersects the state boundaries of Georgia and both the Carolinas — you can see waterfalls, forest and/or wildflowers.
If you're especially interested in all things wildflower, you should explore the east fork of this trail, which starts at the picnic area in South Carolina's State Fish Hatchery. From there, you can see a unique variety of plant life — both wildflower and otherwise.
6. Dolly Sods Wilderness
Image credit: Sarah H/Flickr CC-BY 2.0
This area is at a much higher elevation than any others mentioned on this list. In fact, its high elevation is what makes it so unique. The plant life that grows is said to resemble that which you'd be more likely to find in Canada.
So even though Dolly Sods Wilderness is very much within the U.S., it might be a great place to go looking for wildflowers if you feel like experiencing a more exotic environment this spring.
Bring Some Beauty Home With You
Nothing can substitute the beauty and mere awe that comes with looking at a natural phenomenon firsthand. But that doesn’t mean that you can't keep a reminder of your experience nearby.
If you'd like to bring a bit of your floral adventure home with you, try planting a few wildflowers at home. Some, of course, thrive better than others, so make sure you're planting wisely based on your region.
Gardening has its own benefits on the mind and body, but planting a flower that has a certain meaning to you can do even more. Whenever you find yourself getting overly caught up in the stresses of everyday life, go outside and look at your wildflowers. Think about spring, think about life, think about your wildflower-siting trip and think about the big picture.
Do that, and your little wildflowers might just keep things in perspective.
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.