North Carolina
Mountain Wildflowers and Forest Ecology in Appalachia
Witness Southern Appalachia in full bloom and gain a deeper understanding of forest ecology as you join experts to walk and learn about the natural wonders of this idyllic region.
Program No. 8999RJ
6 days
Starts at
Getting There
See travel details and required documents

At a Glance

The vibrant red Indian Paintbrush, the exuberant Flame Azalea, the delicate Showy Orchid — the wildflowers of Southern Appalachia are some of the most sought-after and exquisite flora in the United States. Start with a class on wildflower identification before taking it to the field for practice. Walk the pathways of western North Carolina’s mountains and take the time to see, savor and sometimes smell the wondrous flowers of the region.
Activity Level
Outdoor: No Sweat
Walking up to four miles on well maintained mountain trails that have uneven terrain, including rocks and roots.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Learn about the life and botany of the mountains as you walk wooded paths in search of wildflowers and visit the North Carolina Arboretum.
  • With a local expert, examine how mountain ranges were formed and how this relates to the local ecology.
  • On autumn dates, explore the waterfalls of Transylvania County; on spring dates, visit Peter Gentling’s Gardens overlooking the city of Asheville below.

General Notes

Please note that while this program involves significant amounts of walking, the focus is on nature exploration, not hiking. Opportunities are available for traveling companions to attend a different program at Montreat during the same week.
Featured Expert
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Peter Loewer
Peter Loewer is an artist, gardener, writer and illustrator living on the shores of Lake Kenilworth in Asheville, N.C. He holds a bachelor’s in graphic arts and art history and won the 1958 Max Beckmann Fellowship to the Brooklyn Museum. Peter gardens in what he calls a “failing effort to escape the real world and its problems.” He writes and illustrates gardening books and, with the help of his wife Jean, children’s books. His two latest books are "Loves Me Loves Me Not,” about the language of flowers and "Solving Deer Problems."
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Joe Standaert
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Tom Ross
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Brian Joyce
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Peter Loewer
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