Hunting for Ohio’s Spring Wildflowers
By Heather Rader

Hunting for Ohio’s Spring Wildflowers

Spring has sprung and it’s the perfect time to view Ohio’s wildflowers! I ventured to Greene County to seek the spring wildflowers amongst the rocks and gorges of the Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve.

The 268-acre Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve protects one of the state’s best display of dolomite and limestone gorges and embraces two miles of the Little Miami State and National Scenic River. The preserve has one of the state’s finest examples of post-glacier canyon cutting which towers above the scenic waterfalls and rapids of the Little Miami State and National Scenic River. With the dramatic gorges and rushing of the river over the rocks, Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve makes for the perfect location to hunt wildflowers! In fact, the preserve is one of the best sites in Ohio for viewing spring wildflowers including the rare snow trillium!

I couldn’t wait to photograph the little spring beauties so I grabbed my camera, sun shade and tripod and set off in the early morning to go wildflower hunting! As I was hiking the rocky and dirt paths, the sight of my first bloom had me brimming with excitement! I crouched down low and zoomed in to capture the perfect picture of the flower (remember to never disturb the lovely blooms)! From there on out, my eyes seemed to spot color bursting through the dirt and leaves of the earth’s floor all around me! It was quite the treasure hunt with the prize being the colorful blooms! During my walk with nature I spotted Hepatica (Hepatica nobilis), Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadensis), Dutchmen’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria), Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica), and Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris).

Ohio is home to dozens of spring wildflower species located throughout the state, the best time for spring wildflower viewing is mid-April through early-May. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Natural Areas and Preserves provides an Ohio Wildflower Bloom Report (updated weekly) for every region of Ohio on their website. While on their website browse through the Ohio Wildflower photo gallery to have a sneak peek of the flowers you might catch a glimpse of during your spring wildflower hunt!

So lace up your hiking shoes, grab your camera and your best hiking buddy to go for a treasure hunt for Ohio’s beautiful spring wildflowers! Hunting Ohio’s spring blooms is the perfect family activity (it’s free and educational!) or plan a unique wildflower hunting date with your loved one and take a walk through Ohio’s stunning natural landscapes! 

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