Mistletoe State Park will hold its spring wildflower walk on April 18.
Participants will gather at the Nature Center at 9:30 a.m., and the 45-minute walk along a 1 1/2-mile trail will begin at 10 a.m.
"I get so excited about these walks it's hard to single out one or two things to talk about," said Sheryl Silva, who will lead the walk. "Since I'm an expert by no stretch of the imagination, I let the guests know this up front and ask that they point out any flowers they see that I might miss, or name the ones they can that I can't.
"I always take my trusty field guide as well as my camera to photograph flowers that I don't personally know."
Silva said the photographs help her as she gathers information for future walks.
"There are several patches of Jack-in-the-Pulpit along the trail, and if we're really lucky, the incredibly beautiful Silky Camellia," said Silva, who said guests might also see tadpoles and crawfish in the creek.
Though registration is not required, Silva likes to keep the number of participants relatively low. She said a good group is about 10 people.
"The larger the group, the harder it is for the participants to hear what's going on," she said. "Sections of the trail aren't wide enough to walk more than single file or gather in close to view something."
For that reason, Silva recommends that small children not be brought along, and she suggests that dogs be left at home.
"I led a group of 4- to 6-year-olds once, and it's too long a walk for small children. They get tired and bored quickly," she said. "And I really do not prefer that dogs come on the walk. Not that I dislike dogs, but they can startle any wildlife we might be privileged to see and some other guests might be allergic or uncomfortable around dogs."
The trail also is unsuitable for motorized chairs or scooters, or people who tire easily or are unstable on their feet, Silva said.
The walk will continue even if a light rain falls.
"I like to walk in the rain, minus high winds and lightning, so a light rain won't be reason enough for me to cancel," she said. "Just pack a rain jacket or poncho, dress in layers in case it's chilly and wear shoes you won't mind getting muddy."
Guests will be charged the $3 park entry fee. Sensible walking shoes, a camera, water and snack can be brought to the walk. There are no restrooms along the trail.
"The walk is easy and does include two inclines and some uneven terrain, but nothing terribly taxing," Silva said. "Guests should keep in mind this is a wooded area where we might possibly encounter ticks, spiders, poison ivy, wildlife and maybe even a snake sunning itself.
"My final bit is this: We take only photos and pick up any trash along the way."
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