The Institute is offering two early summer “Bloomin’ Walks” to view blossoming mountain laurel and rhododendron. The walks are on Saturdays, June 12 and 26 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Part of The Institute’s Naturalist Discovery Series, the walks are led by Institute naturalist, Dr. Doris Goldman. Hikers will explore trails in Michaux Forest and in Happel’s Meadow. 

On June 12, we’ll mark National Get Outside Day with a hike along the Appalachian Trail in Michaux Forest,” said Goldman. “We will see blooming mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), which is the state flower of Pennsylvania. 

The blossoms look like folded origami flowers.”

The June 26 hike, Celebrate the Summer Solstice, is on the John Birely Memorial Trail at Happel’s Meadow, where blooming rosebay or great rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum) can be found. The clusters of flowers are a hummingbird favorite. 

“This walk is quite shady and mossy, and always cooler than in the valley or most of the drier areas in the mountains,” Goldman said. 

The walks are free, but pre-registration is required. Register via email at Rendezvous point for the hike and more details will be sent upon registration.

COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed, and signed waivers are required for registration.

This program is sponsored by The Institute’s Today’s Horizon Fund Contributors: The Nora Roberts Foundation; The John R. Hershey Jr. and Anna L. Hershey Family Foundation; APX Enclosures, Inc.; The Carolyn Terry Eddy Family: Carolyn, with daughters Connie Fleagle & Kim Larkin.

More information is available at