Blue Ridge Parkway Spring Field Trip

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Date/Time
Sunday, May 10, 2020 - Sunday, May 17, 2020
12:00 am

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During the week of May 10-17 we will be offering six days of plant tours and cultural history along or near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. With elevations from 600 to 4000 feet, there will be an array of ecosystems to see. They will include high mountain wetlands, prairie-glade communities, rugged mountain terrain, table mountain pine communities, oak-hickory forests, and mountain stream communities to name a few. The diversity of the Parkway with its pastoral settings and its magnificent vistas make for a trip to remember. The flame azalea (three different shades) is usually in full bloom at that time of year. It is truly a photographer’s paradise.

Lodging during the week will be at Peaks of Otter (3 nights) and Hotel Floyd (4 nights). Lodging, breakfast and lunch will be included in the trip price of $900. Dinner will be on your own.

From Peaks of Otter we will explore sites such as Trail of the Trees on the James River, Apple Orchard overlook that at 3950’ could take us back to early spring, and the area around the Peaks.

Farther south we may visit an array of habitats along the Parkway and several historic sites. Plants to see should include flame azalea, Catawba Rhododendron, Indian Paintbrush, pirate bush, pink lady’ slipper, yellow lady’s slipper, three- toothed cinquefoil, Appalachian fir club-moss, balsam ragwort, fetterbush, and bear oak.

Off of the Parkway, we will visit Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve and perhaps other preserves run by the state’s Natural Heritage Program.

While our pace will be slow, please be prepared to walk up to 4 miles per day.

Organizers are Sally Anderson and Butch Kelly. Sally is a former VNPS president and frequent Piedmont Chapter field trip leader. Butch is a retired teacher and has led many trips for the Blue Ridge Wildflower Society, and was a National Park Ranger on the Blue Ridge Parkway for 13 seasons. Additional guides will be taking us to some of these special places.

A $200 deposit will save your space. Full payment will be due by April 13. The full Field Trip price is estimated to be $1200 including deposit.

There are three ways to register: at https://vnps.org; send a check to VNPS, 400 Blandy Farm Lane #2, Boyce VA 22620; contact Karen at the VNPS office at 540-837-1600 (mornings).

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