The Flower Blooms on These 6 Hikes Will Break Your Instagram Filters

Flowers aren’t just for meadows. Look up to see spring among the branches.

Photo: Brent McGuirt

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Madrone Canyon Trail, Mt. Diablo State Park, CA

Distance: 2.8 miles
Trailhead: 37.8493, -121.9322

Head up into the hills above San Francisco for a 2.8-mile out-and-back through madrone trees, which feature sprays of tiny white flowers that bloom every May. Beyond the blossoms, catch panoramic views of Mt. Diablo and the surrounding valleys.

Rhododendron Trail, Grayson Highlands State Park, VA

Distance: 1 mile
Trailhead: 36.3800, -81.3031

This short-but-steep climb to 5,729-foot Mt. Rogers, Virginia’s highest point, tunnels through groves bursting with bright pink and purple rhododendron. Gain a thousand feet in just over a mile, and keep an eye out for the park’s wild ponies on the way.

Hains Point Loop Trail, Memorial Parks, Washington DC 

Distance: 4.1 miles
Trailhead: 38.8774, -77.0366

Stroll between two rivers and the Washington Channel on this 4.1-mile tour through thousands of cherry trees from eleven species, including double-blossomed Kwanzans. Keep an eye out for the larger magnolia blossoms scattered throughout.

Butler Hike and Bike Trail, Lady Bird Lake, TX

Distance: 10 miles
Trailhead: 30.2486, -97.7135

This 10-mile trail provides a respite from the hustle and bustle of downtown Austin any time of year, but spring is when it really comes alive. The eastern redbud trees along the path flower before their leaves start come in, making them look like clouds of bright pink cotton candy.

Whitetail Trail, Ponca State Park, NE

Distance: 1.3 miles
Trailhead 42.5993, -96.7183

Though it clocks in at only 1.3 miles, this ramble through the Nebraska woodland has herds of the titular whitetail deer, abundant clustered white blooms of Kentucky coffeetrees, and views out over the hills above the Missouri River. Challenge: See how long it takes to count the flowers on just one tree.