Pine Mountain State Park to host ‘Wild Wonderful Wildflower Hikes’

Published 11:32 am Thursday, May 24, 2018

The amount of history tied to the tri-state area is plentiful. Beginning May 25 and continuing every other Friday, Pine Mountain State Park is conducting its Wild Wonderful Wildflower Hikes and Identification Series.

Pine Mountain is actually home to various rare and endangered plant species, and they invite the public to join local, award winning photographers Jamie Barnes and Connie Taylor for wildflower identification hikes.

The hikes will be about three or four miles with plenty of chances to rest and take photos of the various flowers and plants along the way.

The two photographers both offer different areas and expertise for those who attend the hikes. Barnes is a botanist and specializes in wildflower identification while Taylor knows the history, medicinal uses and origins of virtually every plant found in the park.

Participation is free and the hikes begin at 11 a.m. and go until 1 p.m.

The hikes are said to range from easy to moderately strenuous.

One of the more unknown aspects of our local mountains, according the park itself, is that renowned botanist and ecologist Emma Lucy Braun once stated Pine Mountain is of the most “mixed mesophytic forest” in the world.

A mesophytic forest is somewhat specific to the Appalachian region. They are a specific region that are temperate and have broadleaf and mixed forest biomes. The dictionary definition of mesophytic simply refers to a land plant that grows in an environment that has a moderate amount of moisture.

According to the Library of Congress, a typical forest type usually consists of two or three tree species that make up its canopy and “understory”. A mixed mesophytic forest can contain upwards of 80 species the canopy and understory.

For more information regarding the Wild Wonderful Wildflower Hikes and Identification Series, call 606-337-3066.