Trails & Trilliums: Adventure for Every Age
Nature lovers of all ages will find something to enjoy at the 18th annual Trails & Trilliums festival, April 8-10. This weekend-long naturalist rally, put on by the Friends of South Cumberland State Park and sponsored by Lodge Cast Iron, is held at the DuBose Conference Center in Monteagle. Schedules, details and registration are found at <www.TrailsAndTrilliums.org>.
Adults can sign up for more than 100 offerings spread over three days: guided hikes by expert leaders to learn about wildflowers, geology and archeology; a nighttime Star Party; author talks (including David Haskell on his latest book and Patrick Dean on his forthcoming book on Marck Catesby for whom the Catesby trillium is named); workshops from Nature Journaling to Trail Building; and 25 presenters on topics such as Monarch Butterflies, Planting for Pollinators, Shade Gardening, and Hummingbirds. Saturday’s keynote address by State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath is “Favorite Places in South Cumberland.”
Young naturalists are invited on Saturday and Sunday to build forts, make their own fairy house, cook over a campfire, start a nature journal, hold snakes, turtles and other critters, bike to the State Park, and throw hatchets. Programs on stage in the pavilion include Hands-on Wildlife, “Owl-ology” with a rescued owl, and Davy Crockett telling pioneer stories. A “Nature Night” Family Campfire on Saturday will include a night hike, roasting marshmallows and a moth adventure. All Family Fun events are free but some require pre-registration to secure a spot.
All festival-goers will enjoy an expanded number of vendors and four food trucks. Overhill Nursery will return with an excellent selection of native plants. Other offerings include worm castings from the Boy Scouts, hiking sticks, birdhouses, leather works, candles, soaps, rock jewelry and garden sculpture. Vendors are open Saturday and Sunday.