The West Virginia Wildflower Pilgrimage gives naturalists from across Appalachia and Dolly Sods an inside look at the Canaan Valley and surrounding wildlands.
The pilgrimage plays out over two days each spring with bird and wildflower experts leading dozens of excursions across the region — but even among the numerous trips, Bill Beatty’s Dolly Sods wilderness hike stands alone.
“Okay, let's do this!” Beatty shouted to the 17 people along for his hike. “We're gonna head down towards the bog and get our feet wet.”
The trail runs along Alder Run Bog, through a red spruce forest, up and down rock fields, across a stand of 85-year-old red pine, and through expanses of rhododendron thickets and chokeberry meadows before cresting out on the Allegheny Front.