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Sunset Stroll in the Desert - Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area

HIKE STATS:

Meeting Time: 6:30 PM
Meeting Place: Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area parking lot
Hike Distance: 1 mile
Estimated Event Time: 90 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
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.













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  • susan

    Thank you Jason for leading this meetup. You knowledge of the cedar glade plants and birds is amazing. I enjoy this type of hike where you can explore and enjoy the natural setting around you. I especially liked walking with the group in the dusk/dark and listening to the birds.

    1 · May 12, 2014

  • Debbie C.

    Thank you Jason for sharing your knowledge with us! Walking through the dark and listening for the nighttime birds I've never heard before made it worth the drive out.

    1 · May 12, 2014

  • Anna Y.

    Does anyone want to carpool? I live in 12 South area.

    1 · May 10, 2014

    • Tim

      I'm not far from there and interested in carpooling. You can call me at four 2 8 sixteen twenty eight.

      1 · May 10, 2014

    • Anna Y.

      OK, I'll see if I can make it tonight and will be sure to call you!

      May 11, 2014

  • Stephanie G.

    How long do we have to wait?

    May 10, 2014

15 went

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