February 20, 2010 · 10:00 AM
This location is shown only to members
Not many know about the
310 acre Preserve owned by the Nature Conservancy on Keel Mountain, purchased in 2003 to protect the Endangered Morefield’s Leatherflower. After a short day of hiking with Susan Weber and other
FRCA members, you will find out there is much more to see! Chittamwood or American Smoketree, prickly pear cactus, Limerock arrowwood, and Cumberland Rosinweed are among the many plant species found on Keel Mountain. The first and last will not be visible in the winter, but this hike will allow you to see a historically important spring and “lost sinks” that fed them, where water never stops running on Keel’s mountainside above 1100’. One sink is over 100’ deep—and we will go into it if it is not too slippery. The water here all flows into the Flint River. [
Trail Map] The
Nature Conservancy of Alabama purchased this land after Soos Weber did several years of grant investigation through the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and pushed for the purchase of the property. The State Champion Chittamwood is also found in the area, atop the geologic formation known as Candlestand. Barn owls and the Allegheny woodrat also live in the caves beneath Candlestand. This is a moderately tough hike, and you will need hiking boots, water and lunch. We will meet in front of
Regions Bank in Hampton Cove at 10:00am. If it rains or is bitter cold, it will be postponed until June, when the Leatherflower is in bloom. The length of this hike is approximately 2 miles. Call Soos at[masked] or[masked] for more information.