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Friday the 13th Full Moon Ramble - Couchville Cedar Glade


Meeting Time: 7:30 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

So you think night hiking is a bit spooky, huh? What about a night hike on Friday the 13th? Under a full moon? In the wild and mysterious cedar glades? Don't be skeered -- together we can do this!

The official full moon is June 12 at 11:01 p.m, so we should get a good view of the moon tonight, weather permitting. We'll hopefully see a few rare glade wildflowers during daylight , hear some unusual birds at dusk, take in a sunset from a scenic prairie, and then catch the rays of the full moon as we listen to the creatures of the night.

This is an opportunity to visit one of Tennessee's most unique ecosystems: the Couchville Cedar Glade. This desert-like area is home to several rare and endangered plants, including Tennessee Coneflower and Leafy Prairie Clover. Some other uncommon wildflowers along this trail include Gattinger's Lobelia, Limestone Fameflower, Tennessee Milk Vetch, Prairie Onion, Golden St. Johnswort, Nashville Breadroot, 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 darkness nears, we'll be keeping an eye out for one of Couchville Cedar Glade's most unusual residents: the Common Nighthawk. We'll also hopefully hear two other members of the "nightjar" bird family: the Whippoorwill and Chuck-Will's-Widow.

The prairie area at Couchville Cedar Glade features one of the more beautiful sunset viewing locations around Long Hunter State Park .

After the sun goes down, we'll hang out in the prairie and enjoy the lightning bugs, the night sounds, the evening sky, and hopefully the full moon.  We occasionally hear frogs, owls, coyotes, and other creatures of the night in this area.

Keep in mind that this will not be a fast-paced hike; we will be meandering and stopping frequently for nature interpretation, exploration and photo opportunities. Feel free to ask questions about anything you see during the walk.

No pets, please. Kids are welcome.

Don't forget insect repellent, water and your camera. Flashlights or some type of small light source are recommended, although we'll try to avoid using them unless necessary.

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:

For further directions or park information, call the park office at[masked]-2422.

Join or login to comment.

  • Amy

    The hike was inter-sting and fun.

    June 14, 2014

  • Laura

    As always, Jason did a good job engaging the group with his knowledge of what we are surrounded by, and didnt notice on our own. Jason's prairie, the weather, and a stunning rising moon made for a perfect evening.

    1 · June 14, 2014

  • Chris

    Jason did a great job of providing useful, interesting information.

    June 14, 2014

  • Jason A.

    Thanks to everyone who joined us tonight. I apologize for the large turnout. I was expecting about 10 or 12 people, not the 50+ who showed up. Apparently the Tennessee State Parks FB page promoted the event earlier today. Oh well... even though I didn't get to do my "normal", more personal glade program, I'm happy that so many people got to get outside on a beautiful evening. Hope to see you all again sometime...

    4 · June 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Going over to bluebird if anyone else wants to find something else to do. I say the outsiders do something too.

    June 13, 2014

  • Laura

    I'm at area 2....RIGHT? L

    June 13, 2014

    • Tracy T.

      No. Are you at long hunter park?

      June 13, 2014

    • Laura

      Yes. .long Hunter area 2...r u with Jason

      June 13, 2014

  • Lori L.

    Only room for 13?? sad face :(

    1 · June 13, 2014

    • Colleen

      hehe Friday the 13th ...

      1 · June 13, 2014

    • Stefanie S.

      Lori it looks like I can't go. Take my place

      June 13, 2014

  • Laura

    Bringing one of my besties who is a FANTASTIC photographer.

    1 · June 4, 2014

    • Laura

      She would love that and is a HOOT!!!

      1 · June 4, 2014

    • Colleen

      And I'll be bringing my camera as well :)

      June 4, 2014

  • Colleen

    If you bring a flashlight, put red cellophane over it. Red light is the easiest for your eyes to stay accustomed to the dark but still help you see (a tip from my high school astronomy teacher, who was the back up for Christa McCuliffe in the 1986 Challenge flight. I choose to believe him ;) )

    1 · June 3, 2014

    • Laura

      That makes sense. My background is aviation, and in the control tower they use red lights!

      1 · June 3, 2014

  • Laura

    I aint fraid of no ghost!

    2 · June 3, 2014

13 went

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