Lilyfest, featuring music and activities to celebrate the peak bloom season of the Rocky Shoals Spider Lily, will take place at Landsford Canal State Park tomorrow (May 19) from 12-5pm. Landsford Canal State Park is a gorgeous 448 acre natural resource located along the Catawba River and contains the ruins of the Landsford Canal which was built by slave labor between 1820 and 1825 to bypass rapids on the Catawba River.
The park also has the largest collection of Spider Lilies in the world, which are really a sight to see when they are in bloom in the middle of the river. They remain in bloom for only 1 month, from mid-May to mid-June. Unfortunately due to the high water levels in the Catawba this spring, the spider lilies have been under water. Water levels are just recently back in a normal range and the Spider Lilies will not reach peak bloom until around June 1.
But there will still be lots of fun to be had at Lilyfest with music and activities. Even without the spider lilies in bloom, Landsford Canal STate Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the area. Drinks and snacks will be provided at the festival. Bring a lawn chair or blanket so you can relax and enjoy the music. The Spider Lily viewing area is a 3/4 of a mile walk down the Landsford Canal Trail from the main park area.
There is a $5 fee per adult for Lilyfest, $3.25 for SC seniors, and $3 for children.
On May 25, the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation is offering a morning and afternoon Spider Lily Eco-Tour Kayak Trip in which participants will get to see the Spider Lilies up close. This event is free for all Catawba Riverkeeper Members (bring your own kayak) and $25 for nonmembers.
No Kayak? Rent one from Catawba River Expeditions ($30/trip). Call to reserve your kayak at 803-327-9335.
Directions to Landsford Canal St Park: From southbound I-77, take Exit 77. Turn left (south) and drive 16 miles. Turn left by the Landsford Canal State Park Sign.