The Trails and Trilliums Festival, being a celebration of Nature, is ready for whatever nature throws at us this weekend. This year’s festival takes place April 13–15 in Monteagle, celebrating the peak of spring wildflower season in South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee’s largest state park. Extra tents have been ordered, so just about every activity planned to take place at the South Cumberland State Park Visitor Center on Saturday, April 14, will stay dry if it rains. Programs and workshops will take place as planned. The full schedule of expert-guided hikes will also take place, rain or shine, unless severe weather threatens. Hikers are advised to dress for wet weather, and can check the Friends of South Cumberland website https://www.trailsandtrilliums.org or Friends Facebook Page on Saturday for weather-related hike schedule updates.
This year, the programs and activities associated with Trails and Trilliums moves to the South Cumberland State Park Visitor Center in Monteagle. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 14, rain or shine, the Visitor Center will come alive with a market festival featuring art and craft vendors, a native plant sale and live music, complemented by a day-long line up of historical, gardening and other outdoor themed programs and workshops, as well as dozens of nature-oriented interactive activities for the kids. Bring a picnic lunch, or stop by the Shenanigans food truck, which will be serving lunch and snacks on-site. All activities at the Visitor Center are free and open to the public.
For the adults, the Trails and Trilliums marketplace will feature displays of beautifully hand-made crafts, jewelry, woodworking, sculptures, fine art and decorative items from 18 of the region’s most creative and outstanding artists, including the always popular native plant sale, creating a festival atmosphere for this year’s event. There will also be a full slate of nature themed programs and workshops on a wide range of useful gardening, birding, photography and historical topics. See the full schedule online at trailsandtrilliums.org/speakers-and-workshops.
Always a highlight of Trails and Trilliums are the expertly-guided wildflower, wild vista, and waterfall hikes throughout the park, which will be offered throughout the weekend. Van shuttles to most of the hike trailheads will be offered, leaving from the South Cumberland State Park Visitor Center. The complete hike schedule can be found online at <trailsandtrilliums.org/hike-schedule>. The full schedule of hikes will take place, rain or shine, unless severe weather threatens. Hikers are advised to dress for wet weather, and can check the Friends of South Cumberland website or Friends Facebook Page on Saturday for weather-related hike schedule updates. All hikes require purchase of a Hiking Pass, available on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Registration table at the Visitor Center. Hikes are free to current Friends members; non-members can join and hike for $35. Please note: Hike capacity is limited.
At the Visitor Center on Saturday, April 14, rain or shine, Trails and Trilliums Family Fun will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with dozens of hands-on nature and outdoor activities. Ramble, the Tennessee State Parks raccoon mascot, will greet families as they arrive. All Family Fun activities are free of charge and open to the public, but please note that adults are required to accompany their children at all times. Bring a picnic lunch, or plan to purchase lunch or a snack from the Shenanigans food truck.
The Family Fun activities will take a 30-minute break for lunch at 12:30 p.m., but the newly-renovated Visitor Center exhibit area, featuring a pioneer cabin, plant and animal exhibits, a hands-on video microscope, and the State Park’s Gift Shop, will be open all day.
The fabulous Wine and Wildflowers celebration will be at the Monteagle Inn on Saturday, April 14, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. A terrific selection of wines and hors d’oeuvres will be highlighted by the presentation of this year’s Trails and Trilliums Tribute Award to longtime Friends supporter and outdoor journalist Bob Butters, whose many articles about the outdoor wonders of the Southern Cumberland Plateau and South Cumberland State Park appear on his blog . Tickets for Wine and Wildflowers, an important fundraiser for the Friends of South Cumberland, can be purchased online at TrailsAndTrilliums.org.
Proceeds from all ticket sales, as well as art and craft sales, support South Cumberland State Park through the work of the Friends of South Cumberland. Learn more about how the Friends are making a difference in the park at friendsofsouthcumberland.org.
This year’s Trails and Trilliums festival is made possible with support from Lodge Cast Iron. Saturday evening’s Wine and Wildflowers celebration is presented by Tower Community Bank, and the new Family Fun activities are made possible through the generosity of Doug Ferris and John D. Canale.