The UNCA Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage has been going on for 41 years. During the weekend, what happens is that various short wildflower hikes are led by local professional naturalists, knowledgeable amateurs, and college botany professors. I personally will not be leading any hikes.
Rather, you show up on Friday evening and sign up for different 1/2 day (or all-day) hikes--most are 1 mile or less. Once you sign up for the hikes, it's your responsibility to get to the meeting locations specified by the hike leaders. The Meetup on Friday evening is only for registration and signing up for the hikes, and possibly staying for the evening program. Once that's done, it ceases to be a Meetup event, and becomes a UNCA Department of Biology event. The focus for these hikes is not on hiking distance, but rather on learning about the wildflowers, trees and ecology along the way.
Cost: $5.00 per person ($1.00 students), payable to the UNCA Department of Biology (the sponsor), plus sharing gas in carpools.
Please don't sign up unless you are sure you want to come, as there are limited spots available on the Saturday and Sunday hikes.
How does the sign-up work? After you pay your $5.00 registration fee to the sponsor in the lobby of Rhoades Robinson Hall, you sign up for the various hikes. You must register on Friday to go on any of these hikes on Saturday or Sunday! There is no registration available after Friday evening. At the various meeting spots on Saturday and Sunday, you then arrange with the individual hike leaders and others on the hike to carpool to various wildflower hotspots within about an hour's drive, usually a lot closer. Find out where Rhoades Robinson Hall is here on the UNCA Campus Map:
(It's on the UNCA central Quad. Signs will direct you to the lobby of Rhoades Robinson Hall.)
What else does my $5.00 buy? This year, there is an evening program on Friday night at 7:30 pm entitled "Appalachian Spring," presented by Scott Dean, a local naturalist.
Dogs? Sorry, no dogs allowed
What to bring: In addition to what you might bring on a normal hike (water, appropriate clothing, camera, trail snacks, etc.) you may want a magnifying glass and a wildflower book. You may also want to bring a lunch if you sign up for a morning hike or for the all-day hike on Saturday.
For more information: http://biology.unca.edu/wildflower-pilgrimage