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Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja spp.)
Photo by Gary Fleming

**Click on outing titles to register**

Upcoming Hikes

Fungi Outing for Teens and Pre-teens
Sat, 03 May 2014

We are delighted that Mark Jones founder of Sharondale Farm will be leading an educational outing into the heart of the George Washington National Forest to help explore the importance of the role fungi plays in the ecosystems of an Appalachian forest. When he is not out in the woods, he can be found at his farm which is a permaculture project at the base of the central Virginia’s Southwest Mountains. His farm integrates mushrooms, perennial plants, and animals into the gardens and hardwood forest. Two of Wild Virginia’s generous members are making available their mountain home as a base camp for this outing. Reservations are required.

We have limited attendance to the first 12 people between the ages of 10-17 that register. Adult chaperones are encouraged to attend with them. Wild Virginia, through its youth educational program funds, will cover the $25 cost thus there is no charge to you.

The outing will start at 10am sharp and end at approximately 2:30pm. Length of the walk will be about 1-2 miles and will be relatively easy. Bring your own lunch, water bottle, beverages, camera and notebooks. The location of the Outing is about 30-40 minutes west of Staunton.

Directions will be sent to you with your confirmation. To register or for more information email Bette Dzamba directly. BetteDaveYstone@gmail.com.

Sinkhole Ponds at Maple Flats
Sun, 04 May 2014

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Maple Flats is part of a Special Biological Area in George Washington National Forest and contains a complex of sinkhole depressions that are a unique and important natural resource in the East.  While the larger depressions may contain water year-round, most of them hold water for only a portion of the year.  These seasonal, freshwater wetlands support an impressive array of plants and wildlife, including many species that are specially adapted to these rare types of habitats. 

Join Mike Hayslett, Director of the Virginia Vernal Pools Program at Sweet Briar College, as he guides us through the area and the natural wonders it is home to.  Breeding amphibians will be one of the topics we explore, as the sinkhole ponds are a vital resource for their successful reproduction in the area.

Showers or mild rain will not cancel the outing, but thunderstorms or other unsafe conditions could.  The walking will not be strenuous, but we will get off established trails and be walking through the forest and beside the ponds during the day.  Please bring water, snacks and lunch with you, and come prepared for the weather and uncertain footing.

 

For questions contact Bette Dzamba at BetteDaveYstone@gmail.com.
 
This hike outing is likely to fill. If you register but your plans change please let us know so someone else can have your spot. Group size is limited to 20 people.  

 

We plan to spend approximately 4 - 5 hours at the site 10am-3pm.  

 

Other details such as starting time, directions, and car pool arrangements will be provided. 

 

Nature Ramble – Fortunes Cove
Sun, 11 May 2014

How did Fortunes Cove in Nelson County get its name?  Is there a stash of gold in a forgotten hollow there?  Actually, no.  However, The Nature Conservancy operates a nature preserve at the upper end of this lovely cove, and you can join a local naturalist to learn about some of its natural heritage treasures.  Susan McSwain will lead a leisurely ramble along the lower section of the preserve trail and will highlight some of the plants, animals, and history that make the area special.  The trail is narrow and rocky, but the grade is gentle for the entire section of trail to be covered.  There will be no pot of gold at the end, but there will be a chance to look at an orchard planted with American Chestnut trees and speak to one of the people who maintains the orchard.

The group is limited to 10 people.  Depart at 10 a.m. from the nature preserve parking lot.  In the past, these nature rambles have ended between 11:30 and noon.  Feel free to bring your favorite nature guide books, hiking stick, backpack, binoculars, loupe lens, water, trail snacks, and kitchen sink.  

Old Hotel Trail - Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area Hikes
Sun, 18 May 2014

The 7,695 acre Mountain Pleasant National Scenic Area is one of just seven such federally designated areas in the entire US National Forest System. Three of the seven National Scenic Areas (NSA’s) are located in Virginia with Mountain Pleasant NSA being inside the Pedlar Ranger District of the George Washington National Forest.

In an article for the Roanoke Times, staff writer Kevin Myatt wrote “with Pleasant and Scenic as two of its middle names, [the area] had a lot to live up to. It has, over and over again.” Once you experience the areas’ summit vistas, enchanting forests, or high mountain meadow, you will be hard pressed to disagree. 
 
The hike follows the Old Hotel Trail and Appalachian Trail to crest the summit of Cold Mountain (elevation 4022’). This hike is regarded by many people as one of the top ten of Virginia mountain hikes.
 
The Cold Mountain loop offers a 360-degree view and a high mountain meadow. The hike is considered moderate in difficulty and will be under 6 miles with elevation gains of 1500’.
 
Group size is limited to ten participants. 
 
Additional details including start time, directions, and car pool arrangements will be provided about a week before the hikes.
 
If you have any questions, please contact Tony at buckcreekdesigner@gmail.com or 434-964-6434.

Henry Lanum Memorial Trail - Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area Hikes
Sun, 18 May 2014

The 7,695 acre Mountain Pleasant National Scenic Area is one of just seven such federally designated areas in the entire US National Forest System. Three of the seven National Scenic Areas (NSA’s) are located in Virginia with Mountain Pleasant NSA being inside the Pedlar Ranger District of the George Washington National Forest.

In an article for the Roanoke Times, staff writer Kevin Myatt wrote “with Pleasant and Scenic as two of its middle names, [the area] had a lot to live up to. It has, over and over again.” Once you experience the areas’ summit vistas, enchanting forests, or high mountain meadow, you will be hard pressed to disagree. 
 
This outing begins at the Mountain Pleasant NSA parking area and follows Henry Lanum Memorial Trail with spurs trails leading to the summits of Pompey Mountain (elevation 4032’) and Mount Pleasant (elevation 4071”). The hike is regarded by many people as one of the top ten of Virginia mountain hikes.
 
The Mount Pleasant loop offers spectacular views from its east and west summits. This circuit hike is considered moderate in difficulty. The hike is 6 miles with elevation gains of 1350'. 
Group size is limited to ten participants. 
 
Additional details including start time, directions, and car pool arrangements will be provided about a week before the hike.
 
If you have any questions, please contact Tony at buckcreekdesigner@gmail.com or 434-964-6434.

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**Click on outing titles to register**

If you have any trouble with our registration system contact:

Misty Boos - Wild Virginia  - (434) 971-1553 - misty@wildvirginia.org

Masthead photo by Wild Virginia