Nationally acclaimed naturalist and folklorist Bob Fulcher will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Trails and Trilliums event, set for April 17-19 at the DuBose Conference Center in Monteagle.
Fulcher, manager of Cumberland Trail State Park, will discuss the work of French naturalist Charles Alexandre Lesueur, who, in 1831, sketched his way across the Cumberland Mountains, from Nashville to East Tennessee. Fulcher will present images of his work, kept by the American Philosophical Society, and the Le Havre Museum of Natural History in France, and explain the significance of these rarely-seen sketches. Fulcher’s presentation is set for 3 p.m., Friday, April 17.
Fulcher is founder of the Tennessee State Parks Folklife Project, and has spent decades preserving the stories and music of the Cumberland area and training others throughout the park system.
Trails and Trilliums, now in its 17th year, offers three days of guided hikes, workshops, free children’s events, seminars and workshops. The festival raises funds to support the initiatives of the Friends of South Cumberland (FSC), working in support of the South Cumberland State Park.
Each day through the weekend, guided hikes will be offered on 28 of the South Cumberland’s most scenic trails. A slate of 20 workshops and presentations will be offered during the weekend that cover a variety of topics.
Saturday’s activities for children include a wildlife program with snakes, turtles and birds of prey, fort building, hayrides, pioneer activities and fairy houses. The inaugural Family Campout event will be held that evening on the grounds of the Dubose Conference Center.
In addition to the seminars and hikes, Vonore, Tennessee’s Overhill Gardens will be offering a wide array of native plants, along with other unique and interesting vendors. The event also features live music on stage and plenty of festival food.
To view a complete schedule of events or to register, visit <www.trailsandtrilliums.org>. Registration to the public opened Feb. 24, and pre-registration is recommended, since many hikes and seminars fill up quickly.
The Wild Azalea Gala, with cocktails, a gourmet dinner, and after-dinner dance music by Nashville dance band “Entice” is set for the evening of April 17. Money raised from the annual gala, the largest fundraiser of the year, provides funding for a variety of initiatives the Friends undertake to support South Cumberland State Park, from educational programming for area school children to trail and bridge maintenance, to land conservation, park visitor information and more. Separate reservations for the gala may be made at <www.wildazaleagala.org>.
Proceeds from the event will benefit FSC, a group of volunteer citizens dedicated to supporting the South Cumberland State Park, which, at 30,837 acres, is the state’s largest.
For more information, visit <www.friendsofsouthcumberland.org>.