Thursday, April 5, 2012

4/5/12 A Perfect Weekend to Visit

Woodland Snail Lost Valley 2012
Woodland Snail Lost Valley
This morning I had Boxley Valley and Lost Valley Hiking trail to myself. This is absolutely prime time. The weather is perfect for hiking, riding and floating. Wildflowers are blooming stronger this year than in many years. In Lost Valley I am seeing species in new locations, and the number of blooming plants is just amazing. If I had to estimate, I would say the number of wildflowers is at least 2x recent years.

The dogwoods will be at peak this weekend. If you want to see the display you better get here. Dogwoods line the roadsides, creeks, and rivers. The earliest blooming dogwoods are now shedding their petals. Two weeks out there will be few dogwoods left. As I write this, the number of dogwoods in our woods would be difficult to estimate, I would hazard a guess at 100 trees on our land. The locust trees are in bloom too now.

The wildflower bloom is just amazing this year. Lost Valley and other trails are full of dwarf larkspur plants. We are in the middle of the season now. If you visit Lost Valley for wildflowers, hiking to the Natural Bridge is probably enough. Just below the bridge the columbines are peaking, and nearby wild geraniums are putting on quite a show.

Elk viewing is very good. Now we are past the antler drop so the bulls just look like huge cow elk with "stumps". Next up in the elk cycle is calving. Around June 1 is considered the peak for elk calving, but it continues for at least a couple of months. The herds are now located at both ends of the valley and in the middle. See the map below for exact locations.

Remember the best place to get in-depth information about the Buffalo National River is Chamber members are the businesses that serve the river and know the river. The Buffalo National River experience is in the rural counties along the river.

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