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October 30

Wildflower Reports – Suspended until next year.  Much of the trails checked today were covered with wet snow.

October 25

White Top Aster, Curtis Aster, White Snakeroot and Mountain Gentian.  Most of the blooms are about gone and well past their peak; however, some of the Mountain Gentian are still very pretty.

August 14

Lead Cove (B-E) – White Top Aster, Wood Nettle, Pale Jewelweed, Coreopsis and Southern Harebell.

Bote Mountain (From Lead Cove Tr. To Finely Cane Tr.) – Coreopsis, Yellow Fringed Orchid (3), Golden Rod, Black-Eyed Susan, Horse Nettle (1), Heal All, Reclining Saint Andrews Cross, Great Lobelia (1), Curtiss Milkwort, Mountain Angelica, False Fox Glove, Southern Harebell, Star Grass and Tick Trefoil.

Finely Cane (B-E) – Heal All, Wood Nettle, Coreopsis and Tick Trefoil.

Many of the blooms are about gone.

FALL FOLIAGE REPORT:   On Bote Mountain near Lead Cove Trail junction a number of the Blue Berry bushes and Sourwood trees are changing to their autumn wardrobe.

August 11

Little River Trail (B to Cucumber Gap Trail) – Wild Golden Glow, Heal All, Wood Nettle and Pale Jewelweed.

Cucumber Gap (B-E) – Pink Turtleheads, Pale Jewelweed, Wood Nettle and Heal All.

July 31

Porter Creek (B-E) – Tick Trefoil, Wild Golden Glow (1), Wood Nettle, Pale Jewelweed, Rattlesnake Plantain, Rosebay Rhododendron (about gone),  Heal All, Common Blue Violet (1) (real surprise at this time of year), White Snake Root (just starting to bloom at campsite #31), Starry Campion (1), Pokeweed, Erect Goldenrod, Reclining Saint Andrews Cross (behind the barn), Asiatic Day Flower (between barn and hiking club house) and Tall Bell Flower.

Indian Pipes on the Appalachian Trail
Indian Pipes (Monotropa uniflora), a parasitic plant that grows from the roots of trees, grows along the Appalachian Trail and various other places in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. – GSMA Photo

July 24

Ramsey Cascade (B-E) – Tick Trefoil (many), Daisy Fleabane (about gone), Heal All (nice), Rosebay Rhododendron, White Top Aster, Pale Jewelweed, Wood Nettle, White Snakeroot (just starting to bloom), Crimson Bee Balm (past peak but still some nice blooms), Black Cohosh, Wild Golden Glows (Peak bloom – 100s of them), Love Vine (many), Indian Pipe, Southern Harebell, Erect Goldenrod (just starting to bloom) and Rattlesnake Plantain.

July 17

Jakes Creek Trail (B-E) – Heal All (many – at peak bloom), Thimbleweed, Daisy Fleabane, Doll Eyes (berries), Wood Nettle, Rosebay Rhododendron, Crimson Bee Balm (slightly past peak but still very beautiful), Black Cohosh, Pale Jewelweed, Rattlesnake Plantain, Love Vine and False Fox Glove (1).

July 10

Porter Creek (B to Brushy Mountain Trail) – Pokeweed, Tick Trefoil, Summer Sweet, Rosebay Rhododendron, Black Cohosh, Wild Golden Glow (1), heal All, Asiatic Dayflower (1) and Red Clover.

Brushy Mountain (B to Brushy Mountain) –Rattlesnake Plantain, Rosebay Rhododendron (at peak higher eleva.), False Fox Glove (1), Wood Nettle, Wild Hydrangea (at peak higher eleva.), Crimson Bee Balm (slightly past peak), Black Cohosh, Turk Cap Lily (nice), Teaberry, Indian Pipe, Wood Sorrell (about gone), Galax (on Brushy Mt.), Rudgel’s Indian Plantain  (just starting to bloom – found only in the GSMNP), White Top Aster, Pale Jewelweed (1) and Star Grass (1).

July 3

Little River Trail (B to Huskey Gap Trail) Heal All, Daisy Fleabane, Rosebay Rhododendron, Black Cohosh, Wild Hydrangea, Red Clover, Tick Trefoil, Asiatic Dayflower (nice), Pale Jewelweed, Crimson Bee Balm (few), Mountain Saint Johns Wort and Horse Nettle (1).
Huskey Gap Trail (From Little River Trail to Huskey Gap) – Tick Trefoil, Rosebay Rhododendron, Star Grass, Valerian, Mountain Saint Johns wort, False Fox Glove (1), Crimson Bee Balm (few), Coreopsis (peak bloom), White Top Aster, Galax (1) and Mountain Laurel (3 small blooms).
Sugarlands Mountain Trail (From Huskey Gap to Fighting Creek  Gap) – Rosebay Rhododendron, Coreopsis, Star Grass, Wild Hydrangea, Indian Pipe (nice – few), White Top Aster, Flame Azalea (few but nice), Black Cohosh and Wood Nettle.
Special Note:  Blue Berries are coming in nicely. 

June 26

Turkey Pen (B-E) – Rosebay Rhododendron (massive – past peak but still great display), Basil Bee Balm (at peak or slightly pass peak), Black Cohosh, Star Grass, Coreopsis (nice), Red Clover, Reclining Saint Andrews Cross (1, Valerian) and White Top Aster.
School House Gap (B to Turkey Pen Trail) – Rosebay Rhododendron, Sweet Cicely (1), Tick Trefoil (at peak), Common Elderberry, Thimbleweed (past peak), Red Clover, False Fox Glove, Wood Nettle, Tea Berry, Valerian,  Smooth Hedge Nettle (1) (Very pretty)  and Daisy Fleabane.
Bote Mountain (B to Finely Cane Trail) – Rosebay Rhododendron, Heal All, Reclining Saint Andrews Cross, Coreopsis (little over mile up trail – very nice), White Top Aster, Red Clover, Thimbleweed (past peak), Daisy Fleabane, Tick Trefoil (at peak/colorful), Star Grass, White Top Aster, White Clover, Tea Berry, Valerian,  and Rattlesnake Plantain (2 – just started blooming).
Finely Cane (B-E) – Rosebay Rhododendron, Black Cohosh, Wood Nettle, Tick Trefoil, Canadian Violet (about gone – few), Thimbleweed (about gone – few), Pokeweed (just starting to bloom), Basil Bee Balm, Valerian and Teaberry.

Gregory Bald
A hybrid swarm of Flame Azaeleas in a variety of color on Gregory Bald. These displays are usually at peak in mid-June. Getting to Gregory Bald requires a good day hike, up a steep mountain grade.  – GSMA Photo

June 21

Low Gap (Cosby to Low Gap) – Crimson Bee Balm, Rosebay Rhododendron, Wood Nettle, Pale Jewelweed, Canadian Violet, Pipsissewa, Common Elderberry, Loosestrife, Galax, Basil Bee Balm, White Clover, Wild Hydrangea and Blackberry.

Appalachian Trail (From Low Gap to Mt. Cammerer Trail) – Blackberry, White Clover, Mountain St. John’s Wort, Loosestrife, Galax, Wood Nettle, Wild Hydrangea, Flame Azalea, Partridge Berry and Mountain Laurel. (past peak).

Mount Cammerer (B-E) – Galax (nice), Rosebay Rhododendron (just starting to bloom), Mountain Laurel (almost gone), Wild Hydrangea and Blackberry.

June 12
Gregory Ridge (B-E) – Rosebay Rhododendron, Large Flower Valerian, White Clover, Wild Hydrangea (Many – full bloom), Galax, Loosestrife, Blueberry, Mountain Laurel (about gone), Star Grass, Teaberry, Flame Azalea, White Milkweed, Canadian Violet, Prostate Bluet, Pipsissewa and Tassel Rue.
Gregory Bald (From Gregory Ridge Trail to Parson’s Branch Road) – Large Flower Valerian, Common Cinquefoil, Prostate Bluet, Blackberry, Tassel Rue, Galax (about halfway between the bald and Parsons Branch Road the display is one of the best of Galax that I have seen even though they are past peak), Mountain Angelica, Mountain Laurel (about gone), Star Grass, White Milkweed (beyond peak), Hawkweed, Wild Hydrangea, Canadian Violet, Pipsissewa, Dwarf Rhododendron, Rosebay Rhododendron, Goats Beard, Spiderwort (very beautiful) and Coreopsis.

May 26

Abrams Falls (From the Cades Cove Trailhead to the falls):  Mountain Laurel (Absolutely beautiful especially those hanging slightly above the creek), Partridge Berry, Galax, Loosestrife, Hawkweed (past peak), Bleeding Heart (past peak), Star Grass, White Milkweed, False Solomon’s Seal, Rosebay Rhododendron (just starting to bloom – especially beautiful), Blueberry (some have berries already formed), Blackberry (some have green berries) and Sweet Shrub (real nice).

Note:   Some of the Mountain Laurel and some of the Galax are right at peak bloom and some are beyond peak bloom.

Wide-leaved Sunflowers
Wide-leaved Sunflower blooms along Laurel Falls in early summer. – GSMA Photo

May 19

Rich Mountain Loop Trail (B-E) – Valerian, Early Buttercup, Star Grass, White Clover, Loosestrife, Red Clover, Beard Tongue (at peak – very nice), Blackberry, Golden Ragwort, Hawkweed, Galax, Flame Azalea, Rue Anemone, Common Cinquefoil,  Spiderwort (nice), White Milkweed,  Wild Hydrangea  and Japanese Honeysuckle.  
Crooked Arm (B-E) – Valerian, Early Buttercup, Teaberry, Mountain Laurel (very nice higher up), Hawkweed, Star Grass, Bar Cucumber, Galax, Common Cinquefoil, Daisy Fleabane, Goats Beard, Blackberry, False Solomon’s Seal, Beard Tongue (nice), Solomon’s Seal, Meadow Parsnip, Maple Leaf Viburnum, Flame Azalea, Wild Hydrangea, Spiderwort, Loosestrife, False Solomon’s Seal, White Milkweed and Wood Sorrell.
Indian Grave (From Crooked Arm Trail to Rich Mountain Loop Trail) – Star Grass, Valerian, Galax, Mountain Laurel (outstanding display – at peak), Blueberry, Common Cinquefoil, Golden Ragwort, Flame Azalea, Blackberry, Solomon’s Seal, Maple Leaf Viburnum, Wild Geranium (1), Rue Anemone, Spiderwort, Fire Pinks (3) and False Solomon’s Seal.

May 8

Rich Mountain Road (From Park Boundary to Indian Grave Trail) – Yellow Trillium, Meadow Parsnip, Wild Geranium, Daisy Fleabane, Yellow Mandarin (about gone), Blackberry, False Solomen’s Seal, Solomon’s Seal, Fire Pinks, Lyre Leaf Sage (past peak), Hawkweed, Red Clover, Galax, Mountain Laurel (Just starting to bloom), Rue Anemone, Star Grass, Crested Dwarf Iris (about gone), Teaberry, Beard Tongue (few), Common Cinquefoil (about gone), Catesby Trillium (past peak), Canadian Violet, Trillium Erect (Few – past peak), Wood Nettle (past peak – few),Maple-leaf Viburnum, Valerian, Puttyroot, Early Buttercup and Wild Comfrey (few).
Indian Grave Trail (From Rich Mountain Road to Rich Mountain Trail) –Hawkweed, False Solomen’s Seal, Galax, Star Grass, Mountain Laurel (just starting), Blue Berry, Sweet Shrub (really nice),. Flame Azalea (few), Common Blue Violet (few), Blackberry, Rue Anemone, Canadian Violet, Wild Geranium (really nice higher up), Valerian, Large Flowered Trillium (past peak), Yellow Trillium, Solomen’s Seal, May Apple (some nice large blooms), Trillium Erect (past peak), Wild Comfrey, Bird foot Violet and Spotted Mandarin (one).
Rich Mountain Trail (B-E) – Catesby Trillium (past peak but some nice blooms), Common Blue Violet, Solomen’s Seal, Wild Geranium, Blueberry, May Apple, Trillium Erect (past peak – few), False Solomon’s Seal, Sweet White Trillium (few – past peak), Umbrella Magnolia, Fire Pink, Four- Leaf Milkweed, Flame Azalea (beautiful), Puttyroot, Maple-Leaf Viburnum, Valerian,  Beard Tongue (2) and Indian Pike (First time that I have located these on a trail that I can recall – very beautiful).

April 23
Ace Gap (B-E) – Stone Crop, Wild Geranium, Yellow Trillium, Meadow Parsnip, Solomon’s Seal, False Solomon’s Seal (just started blooming), Wood Vetch, Catesby Trillium (many – at peak or just beyond peak), Star Chickweed, Fire Pinks, Flame Azalea (at peak bloom), Alum Root (just started blooming), Galax (a few just starting to bloom – most budded), Daisy Fleabane (about gone), Rue Anemone (at peak bloom – many), Wild Oats, Bristly Locust (1 – very beautiful), Common Cinquefoil (past peak), Silver Bells, Little Brown Jugs (few), Meadow Rue (about gone), Crested Iris (about gone), Vernal Iris (about gone),  Clinton Lilly (budded), Wood Violet (2) and Sweet Shrub (just starting to bloom).
Note:  It appears that the heavy rain over the weekend greatly diminished the quality of the blooms on some plants.  The number of species blooming and the quality of the blooms is not as good this year as it has been the last two years at this time of April.

April 17

Metcalf Bottoms (B-E) – Dogwood, Long Spurred Violet, Yellow Trillium, Crested Dwarf Iris, Vernal Iris, Rue Anemone, Daisy Fleabane (past peak), Sweet White Violet, Dog Hobble (Just starting to bloom), Wild Geranium, Common Cinquefoil (appears past peak), Wood Anemone, Wood Vetch, Stone Crop and Foam Flower.

Walker Sisters (B-E) – Daisy Fleabane (past peak), Sweet White Violet, Common Blue Violet, Crested Dwarf Iris (just past peak but very nice), Dogwood (nice), Wild Geranium, Star Chickweed, Large Flowered Trillium (at peak), Yellow Trillium (at peak), Wood Vetch (past peak), Robin’s Plantain, Vernal Iris, Rue Anemone, Dog Hobble (just starting to bloom), Wood Anemone, Miami Mist and Lyre Leaf Sage (1). 

Little Greenbrier Gap (B-E) – Lousewort (past peak),  Star Chickweed,  Daisy Fleabane (past peak), Common Blue Violet, Dogwood, Star Grass (at peak), Crested Dwarf Iris, Yellow Trillium (really nice – at peak), Wood Anemone and Common Cinquefoil (past peak).

Little Greenbrier (B-E) – Wild Oats, Star Grass (at peak – many), Flame Azalea (few), Common Blue Violet, Common Cinquefoil, Dogwood (outstanding), Service Berry, Star Chickweed (beautiful – at peak – many), Yellow Trillium (one spot has the whole hillside covered with them – at peak – great display), Crested Dwarf Iris (at peak – many nice blooms), Rue Anemone (fantastic display – at peak – many), Wild Geranium (many at full bloom – breathtaking viewing – many – below and above trail), Stone Crop (at peak bloom – one area has many – superb display), Wood Vetch, Plantain Leaf Pussytoe (past peak), Umbrella Magnolia (1), Trailing Arbutus (past peak), Squaw Root (just starting), Purple Phacelia (just starting to bloom), Wild Strawberry (few), Large Flowered Bellwort (just starting to bloom), Meadow Rue (past peak – few), Blue Cohosh (past peak – few), Large Flowered Trillium (at peak in one area – large display – very nice), Trillium Erect (at peak), Sweet White Violet, Solomon’s Seal, Meadow Parsnip (just starting to bloom – one spot), Seersucker Sedge (about gone), Halbred Leaf Violet (few), Toothwort (about gone – few), Lousewort (about gone) and Birdfoot Violet (1).

Wear Gap Road (Gap to Metcalf Bottoms) – Star Chickweed, Rue Anemone, Wild Geranium (fantastic viewing), Lousewort (down embankment on left side going in), Robins Plantain (just starting), Daisy Fleabane (past peak), Common Blue Violet, Fire Pink (nice –at peak bloom), Crested Dwarf Iris, Miami Mist (not as many as usual – past peak), Solomon’s Seal (not nearly as many as usual), Plantain Leaf Pussytoe (past peak), Dogwood (nice), Common Cinquefoil (about gone), Lyre Leaf Sage (2), Canadian Violet (great – many blooms), Toothwort (2 – about gone), Yellow Trillium (at peak) and Golden Ragwort (few).

Little River Road (From Metcalf Bottoms to Wye) – Trillium Erect, Purple Phacelia and Fire Pinks are at peak bloom (many- top-notch displays), Yellow Trillium and Wild Columbine are at peak bloom – wonderful displays), Nice Dogwood blooms and Daisy Fleabane (past peak).  Probably many other blooms that I did not see.

Coneflower on Mt LeConte
Fringed Phacelia (Phacelia fimbriata) blooms along Porters Creek Trail. Large swaths of the forest floor are covered by this small white flowering plant from mid-March to early April. – GSMA Photo

April 10

School House Gap (B-E) – Rue Anemone, Yellow Trillium, Toothwort (some nice ones), Pennywort, Foam Flower, Wood Anemone, Golden Ragwort, Long Spurred Violet, Catesby Trillium, Sweet White Violet, Star Chickweed, Daisy Fleabane, Seersucker Sedge, Hooked Buttercup, Dog Hobble (just starting to bloom), Wild Strawberry, Carolina Vetch, Halberd Leaf Violet, Common Cinquefoil, Bird’s-foot Violet, Wild Oats, Plantain Leaf Pussytoe (about gone), Vernal Crested Iris, Bent Trillium and Star Grass.
White Oak Sinks (including pathway to and from) – Wild Oats, Squaw Root, Catesby Trillium, Halberd Leaf Violet, Wild Geranium, Foam Flower, Common Blue Violet, Sweet White Violet, Crown Vetch, Redbud, Rue Anemone, Bishop Caps, Dog Hobble (just starting to bloom), Wild Phlox (abundant – at peak bloom), Blue Cohosh, Meadow Parsnip, Stone Crop, Golden
Ragwort, Large Flowered Trillium, Star Chickweed, Hepatica, Canadian Violet, Hispid Buttercup, Spring Beauty, Creamy Yellow Violet, Trillium Erect, Cream Violet, Wood Violet and Bent Trillium.
Chestnut Top (B-E) – Wild Oats, Plantain Leaf Pussytoe (about gone), Bird’s-foot Violet, Star Grass, Trailing Arbutus, Halberd Leaf Violet, Dogwood, Rue Anemone, Lousewort, Catesby Trillium, Common Cinquefoil, Crested Dwarf Iris, Long Spurred Violet, Squaw Root, Trillium Erect, Bishop Caps, Star Chickweed, Foam Flower, Toothwort, Bed Straw, Cancer Root, Sweet White Violet, Hepatica, Yellow Trillium, Purple Phacelia (almost peak bloom – very beautiful), Hooked Buttercup, Stonecrop (very nice), Meadow Parsnip and Bent Trillium.

April 5

Little River (B to Huskey Gap) –  Yellow Trillium, Common Blue Violet, Sweet White Violet, Bent Trillium, Celandine Poppy, Frazer Sedge, Brook Lettuce, Toothwort, Star Chickweed, Rue Anemone, White Fringed Phacelia, Creamy Yellow Violet, Wild Phlox, Solomons Seal, Bishop Caps, Wild Ginger, Blue Cohosh, Hooked Buttercup, Showy Orchus (just starting to bloom), Hepatica, Large Flowered Trillium, Yellow Mandarin, Squirrel Corn, Dutchmens Breeches, Foam Flower, Large Flowered Bellwort, Squaw Root and Plantain Leaf Pussytoe.
Huskey Gap (B-E) – Rue Anemone, Yellow Trillium, Large Flowered Trillium, Seersucker Sedge, Common Blue Violet, Halberd Leaf Violet, Common Cinquefoil, Long Spurred Violet, Sweet White Violet, Trailing Arbutus, Star Chickweed, Hispid Buttercup, Wild Geranium, Meadow Rue, Squaw Root, Daisy Fleabane, Blood Root, Wood Anemone, Trout Lily, Squirrel Corn, Dutchmens Breeches, Bishop Caps, Creamy Yellow Violet, Large Flowered Bellwort, Dwarf Ginseng, Crested Dwarf Iris and Dogwood.

March 27

Porter Creek (B-E) – Many blooms:  Star Chickweed, Rue Anemone, Long Spurred Violet, Hepatica (outstanding), White Fringed Phacelia (right at peak bloom between bridge and falls), Large Flowered Trillium and Spring Beauty; Some blooms:  Common Blue Violet, Blood Root, Seersucker Sedge, Daisy Fleabane, Trillium Erect, Sweet White Violet, Creamy Yellow Violet, Trout Lily,  Wild Phlox,  Common Cinquefoil, Wild Phlox, Halberd Leaf Violet, Dutchmen’s Breeches, Frazer Sedge, Wood Anemone and Dwarf Ginseng; Just starting to bloom (or few blooms):  Yellow Trillium, Meadow Parsnip, Wild Geranium, Brook Lettuce, Hispid Buttercup,  and Toothwort (2).
Note:  The White Fringed Phacelia is well worth the walk to the area across the long narrow footbridge.  They are right at peak bloom.  Also, the park service has added handrails to the other side of this long narrow footbridge meaning there are excellent handrails on both sides of the bridge (much safer now).
Overall there are not as many blooms as there was at this time last year; however, it is well worth the trek up the trail, especially between the long narrow footbridge and Fern Falls.

March 20

Lumber Ridge Trail (B-E) – Many Plantain Leaf Pussytoe.  Some Long Spurred Violet and Squaw Root.  Few:  Star Chickweed, Trailing Arbutus and Common Cinquefoil.

March 13
Lead Cove (B-E) – About five dozen Hepatica either budded or in bloom, a few Halberd Leaf Violets in Bloom and some Spring Beauties budded.
Bote Mountain (From Lead Cove Trail to Finely Cane Trail) – Some Trailing Arbutus blooming, a couple of Common Blue Violets in bloom and some Plantain Leaf Pussytoe budded.
Finely Cane (B-E) – Many blooming:  Hepatica and Long Spurred Violet, Some blooming:  Rue Anemone and Squaw Root (up inch to two inches), Budded:  Halberd Leaf Violet, Spring Beauty, and Yellow Trillium – A few blooming:  Toothwort (3 plants either budded or in bloom), Sweet White Violet (5), Seersucker Sedge and Creamy Yellow Violet.
Note:  A few warm days would probably open many of the buds.

March 8
Laurel Falls Trail – (B-E) – Few Trailing Arbutus and Spring Beauty in bloom.  One Common Blue Violet in bloom.  Some Plantain Leaf Pussytoe budded.

Cove Mountain Trail – (B to Laurel Falls Trail) – Few Trailing Arbutus in bloom.  Two Common Blue Violets and one Sweet White Violet in bloom.  Plantain Leaf Pussytoes budded.

March 2

Chestnut Top (B-E) –  Many blooms – Spring Beauties, Star Chickweed and Seersucker Sedge.  Good showing of blooms – Blood Root, Hepatica, and Trailing Arbutus.  Few Blooms –
Toothwort and Long Spurred Violet.  Budded – Yellow Trillium and Plantain Leaf Pussytoes.  1 Bloom – Sweet White Violet.  All but the Trailing Arbutus are on the first 4/10 of a mile from the trailhead.  Trailing Arbutus start about a half-mile up the trail.

Great Smokies

Welcome Center

Hours of Operation

(subject to change)

Open year round (closed December 25)

January - February

Open Daily 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

March - November

Open Daily 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Open Daily 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

The Great Smokies Welcome Center is located on U.S. 321 in Townsend, TN, 2 miles from the west entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors can get information about things to see and do in and around the national park and shop from a wide selection of books, gifts, and other Smokies merchandise. Daily, weekly, and annual parking tags for the national park are also available.

Physical Address

7929 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway Townsend TN 37882


865.436.7318 Ext 320