The timing for a Discovery Walk and Hike at Charlton couldn’t be better. Unlike last year when the early spring wildflowers didn’t seem to be on anyone’s schedule, the early bloomers are out together and in good numbers. Chances are good we will see all the species listed above.
In addition to meeting and greeting the early spring flowers, we will continue our Basic Tree ID skills. After the Basic Tree ID Class, we know that there are some heads that are spinning and feeling a bit overwhelmed. If you are in that group, Good News! You are in the upper 90% of the group. Plant identification skills are acquired in the field more so than the classroom. Just relax and enjoy the walk/hike. As the famous philosopher, Alan Lax, said, “you don’t have to know the name of a tree to enjoy walking under it”. Our classes are not about taking a test but rather to help develop an “Aesthetic Appreciation and Understanding of Nature”.
For those that were unable to attend our Tree ID Basics class, no problem. We will review the basic information on our many walks/hikes during the year. Also, any NiTs that were not able to attend can receive their copy of Trees of Arkansas, Tree checklist, clipboard, and hand lens at any of our walks/hikes.
A Discovery walk/hike is focused on what is found. We will also use what we learned from our class last Saturday on Herpetology and maybe discover some Herps along the Walnut Creek floodplain.
Details for the Discovery Hike:
The walk/hike will start at 10:00 a.m. at the front gate of Charlton. The area is closed to camping this time of year but there is ample room for parking at the front of the gate. The activity will take between 2 and 4 hours depending on which option you choose. Option 1 is a moderately easy walk of approximate 1.5 to 1.75 miles on a smooth paved surface. We will begin at the front gate and walk along the pavement to the back of the recreation area and have our lunch/snack. After lunch, those that select option 1 will loop back to the parking area and return home. Those selecting option 2 will continue the hike along Walnut Creek. The total distance for Option 2 is approximately 3 miles. We will be bushwhacking the Walnut Creek floodplain. It is a moderate hike with very little elevation change over relatively level terrain. It is a beautiful hike along a lovely stream. In addition to natural wonders, we’ll see evidence of early pioneer life and the struggle to carve out a life in the wild. You’ll see locations familiar to DLAMNers such as Indian Memorial Creek, Champions Point, and the struggling Magnolia Mommas .
For those that would like to carpool, we will meet between 9:00 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. at the Harps grocery store parking lot at the intersection of Hwy 270 West and Thornton Ferry Rd. We will leave for Charlton Recreation Area promptly at 9:15.
Directions: From the intersection of Hwy 270 W and Thornton Ferry Rd., travel west on Hwy 270 W for 16 miles to the entrance of Charlton Recreation Area on your right. It’s that easy. The area is currently closed to camping. We will park outside the gate. There is room to park if we will all be mindful of how we park and leave a “lane”.
What to bring – water, snack/lunch, insect repellent and a friend! We will take a snack/lunch break at the picnic tables at the far end of the area. It is a beautiful spot and most of the early spring flowers will be found within 50 yards of the picnic tables.