Past Meetup

Plant Walk on Wildcat Mountain (easy)

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Join us for an exploration of the region’s flora with a walk on Wildcat Mountain. A large portion of Wildcat Mountain was donated to The Nature Conservancy in the 1960’s by the Arundel family. That land is now administered as a natural area available for public use ( http://goo.gl/EIQ3nY ).

(This event was originally scheduled for Dec 8, 2013, but had to be cancelled because of hazardous weather.)

With expert guidance from botanist Ms Carrie Blair of the Piedmont Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society (and trusty companion Ernest Shackleton), we’ll examine the local plant communities in a mountain habitat and discuss ecological stresses such as invasives, climate change, diseases and pests, and also learn a little about the history of the place.

Photo album of our Nov. 2012 plant walk on Wildcat: http://goo.gl/r1JwBw .

The Route: Our walk’s route (up to 3 mi, 1800 ft of elev change; easy at 1.4 blisters) is lollypop shaped, with the loop (candy part) at the top of the mountain. We will make frequent stops to discuss the flora and may not do the full distance. Although easy overall, the hike involves a strenuous climb of 450 ft over the first half mile or so.

What to Bring: Bring a bag lunch or snacks and a bottle of water. The trails are wooded with some rocky patches, so good hiking shoes or boots are a must; you may also want to wear gaiters as we will be walking on a lot of fallen leaves. Dress for the weather, rain or shine. I also recommend insect repellent. If you have them, bring binoculars, a hand lens, and your favorite guide book(s).

When & Where: We will meet at 8:30 am to carpool from Vienna Metro’s north Park & Ride lot ( http://goo.gl/4JDfDe ; not the south side and not the Kiss & Ride). We should be back by 1:30 pm.