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U.S. Forest Service

Southern Region Viewing Area


Phacelia bipinnatifida. Fernleaf phacelia (Phacelia bipinnatifida) is a characteristic spring wildflower generally found in moist soils in the cove forests of the Cherokee National Forest.

Trillium luteum. Yellow wakerobin (Trillium luteum) is a wonderful find when you are out looking for wildflowers. The yellow bloom of the yellow wakerobin is unusual because the vast majority of trilliums are either red or white.

Trillium simile. Jeweled wakerobin (Trillium simile) is a real treat to come across as it is not a common trillium to come across when hiking in this area.

Trillium vaseyi. Vasey's trillium (Trillium vaseyi) is a gorgeous wildflower. It can either be red or white flowered.

Lost Creek Campground Wildflower Trail

Forest: Cherokee National Forest

District: Ocoee / Hiwassee Ranger District

Description: This is an excellent hiking trail for wildflower viewing in the spring and is relatively flat and easy for hikers of all abilities. You need only go a short distance up the trail to encounter a high diversity of species. There is also plenty to see in the low, floodplain area near the beginning of the trail. You’ll need to step across a small stream tributary to access the beginning of the trail so wear appropriate footwear. Best viewing is in April and May. You can see at least four species of Trilliums (including the spectacular Trillium simile), bleeding heart, phacelia, showy orchis, a variety of violets, as well as many other plants.

Directions: From I-75, take the Calhoun exit (no. 36, Hwy 163). Travel east toward Calhoun. At the intersection of Hwy 11 turn right and travel approximately 1 mile then take a left at Hardees onto Hwy 163 East. Travel 13 miles to Hwy 411. Turn right onto Hwy 411 and head south approximately 2 miles. Turn left onto Hwy 30 and travel east toward Reliance, TN. Continue on Hwy 30 for 1.6 miles past Reliance and turn left at the sign to Lost Creek Campground. Continue on gravel road (FDR 103) for 7 miles to the campground. The trail begins across the road from the campground and follows the creek upstream.

Ownership and Management: U.S. Forest Service, Cherokee National Forest, Ocoee / Hiwassee Ranger District.

Closest Town: Reliance, Tennessee.