Meeting Time: 7:00 PM
Meeting Place: Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area parking lot
Hike Distance: 1 mile
Estimated Event Time: 90 minutes
Hike Leader: Jason
This is an opportunity to visit one of Tennessee's most unique ecosystems: the Couchville Cedar Glade. This desert-like area is home to the once federally endangered Tennessee Coneflower, which is now in full bloom. Some of the other rare and unusual wildflowers along this trail include Gattinger's Lobelia, Limestone Fameflower, Tennessee Milk Vetch, Golden St. Johnswort, Nashville Breadroot, Indian Pink, and Gattinger's Prairie Clover. This glade also features Tennessee's only native cactus: the Prickly Pear.
In addition to searching for wildflowers, we'll discuss the ecology of the cedar glade and what makes it so unique. As evening nears, we'll be keeping an eye out for one of Couchville Cedar Glade's most unusual residents: the Common Nighthawk. We'll hopefully hear two other members of the "nightjar" bird family: Whippoorwills and Chuck-Will's-Widows. We also occasionally hear frogs and coyotes at Couchville Glade near dusk. This area often features one of the most beautiful sunset viewing locations in the park.
Keep in mind that this will not be a fast-paced hike; we'll be stopping frequently for nature interpretation and discussion. Feel free to ask questions about anything you see during the walk.
No pets, please. Kids are welcome. Don't forget insect repellent.
Directions to Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area:
From Nashville, take I-40 East to Mt. Juliet Road (Exit 226-A). Go south (right) for about 5 miles, then turn left on South Mt. Juliet Road as if you are going to Bryant Grove Recreation Area. (There will be a sign with arrows pointing toward Bryant Grove Recreation Area and the Mountain Bike Trail.) Go about a half-mile on South Mt. Juliet Road and look for Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area (and the small gravel parking lot) on the right.
Or, take I-24 east to Old Hickory Boulevard (Exit 62). Go north (left) on SR-171 for about 8 miles, then turn right on South Mt. Juliet Road as if you are going to the Bryant Grove Recreation Area. (There will be a sign with arrows pointing toward Bryant Grove Recreation Area and the Mountain Bike Trail.) Go about a half-mile on South Mt. Juliet Road and look for Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area (and the small gravel parking lot) on the right.
Although Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area doesn't have a street address, the closest "official" address is 6069 S. Mt. Juliet Rd., Hermitage, TN 37076. The driveway for this address is approximately 50 feet past the Couchville Cedar Glade parking lot.
You can find a map of Couchville Cedar Glade here: http://www.tn.gov/environment/na/natareas/couchville/couchville.pdf
For further directions or park information, call the park office at[masked]-2422.