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Trillium Trek at Thompson Wildlife Management Area with Alonso Abugattas

Thompson Wildlife Management Area, Blue Ridge Mountains
Photo Alonso Abugattas

Travel to northwestern Fauquier County to see one of the largest (millions!) Great White Trillium displays in the world! This area is resplendent with many (often rare) wildflowers and trees, including native orchids and a variety of wildlife to observe. On the somewhat rocky two-mile trail we'll discuss plant folklore, natural history, identification and ethnobotany. Don't forget this is the day of the City Nature Challenge for the DC area, and we encourage you to join other citizen scientists by bringing a camera and uploading your pictures.

The site of our walk, the G. Richard Thompson Wildlife Management Area, is run by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. It lies on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains and includes nearly 4,000 acres of hardwood forest, ranging from 2200 elevation peaks to terraced lower slopes. Thompson WMA trails wander past rock outcroppings, spring seeps, and several major streams.

Alonso Abugattas is a well-known local naturalist, storyteller, and blogger. He is the Natural Resources Manager for Arlington County Parks. A former officer, including president, of the Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society, Alonso is a master naturalist and master gardener, serving as an instructor for both, and he was a co-founder of the Washington Area Butterfly Club. He invites you to check out his Capital Naturalist Blog (, Capital Naturalist Facebook Group, YouTube Channel, and/or follow him on Twitter.

What to bring and what to expect: The two-mile trail is somewhat rocky, so please wear sturdy shoes. Dress for the weather--although we will cancel in the event of heavy rain/thunderstorm. Bring water and a bag lunch to eat on the trail. Bring tick repellant. Dogs are not permitted on VNPS field trips.

Cell phone reception is spotty at best. Sometimes service is available from the parking lots, but generally not once we are on the trail.

What to Wear: Sturdy shoes are recommended. Dress for the weather.
What to Bring: Binoculars, hand lens and walking stick may be helpful.

VNPS programs are free and open to the public, but space on walks is LIMITED.
Please click here to REGISTER.
To CANCEL your registration or ask a QUESTION, please email

Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society
PO Box 5311
Arlington, VA 2220


Earlier Event: April 21
Earth Day in Heathsville
Later Event: May 3
Chilton Woods Forest Walk