Meeting Time: 6:30 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 many rare and unusual wildflowers, including Limestone Fameflower, Glade Phlox, Tennessee Milk Vetch, Golden St. Johnswort, Tennessee Coneflower, Glade Phacelia, Nashville Breadroot, Glade Cress, and Gattinger's Prairie Clover. This glade also features Tennessee's only native cactus: the Prickly Pear.
During this outing, we'll keep an eye out for interesting wildflowers, noteworthy shrubs, and majestic trees, as well as birds, frogs, and other wildlife. We'll discuss the ecology of the cedar glade and what makes it so unique. Hopefully near dusk we'll see one of the glade's more unusual residents flying overhead: the Common Nighthawk. We might also hear the nighthawk's two close relatives, the Whippoorwill and Chuck-Will's-Widow.
Near the end of the hike we will walk through a scenic prairie, an area known for its beautiful sunsets.
Keep in mind that this will not be a fast-paced hike; we'll be stopping frequently for nature interpretation, exploration, discussion, and photo opportunities. We'll be in the glade for at least 90 minutes, but those in attendance are free to leave whenever they wish.
No pets, please. Kids are welcome. Don't forget water and 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.