The Natural History of Thompson Creek:
A botanical exploration in the Sipsey Wilderness
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Group size is strictly limited to 10
This fun, educational hike is a partnership between Wild South and the Environmental Education Association of Alabama
Thompson Creek runs on the western side of the Sipsey Wilderness in the Bankhead National Forest in northwest Alabama and is one of the headwater creeks of the Sipsey Fork. It is a place of spectacular botanical diversity, especially in the springtime.
On May 3, botanist Kevin England will lead a teaching hike on Thompson Creek for Environmental Education Association of Alabama and Wild South. The focus of the hike will be ecology (climate, geology, habitat, aspect, etc.), spring ephemerals and ferns. Participants will receive a packet of naturalist materials and a certificate of Professional Development hours.
The day will begin with a brief talk by Kevin, then a 45 minute drive to the Thompson Creek trailhead. Hikers will return to the Warrior Mountains Trading Company in late afternoon. Here’s the schedule:
May 3, 2014
8:45 Welcome and introductions
8:50 Lichens as Bio-indicators
* Lichen Biology and Ecology
* Tardigrades and other creatures
* Lichen Schoolyard Surveys
10:00 Ferns and Wildflowers
* Intro to Ecology of the Bankhead National Forest
10:15 Leave for Thompson Creek Trailhead
11:00 Arrive at Thompson Creek
11:10 Begin Hike (Lunch on trail)
* Wildflower and fern ID
* Lichen ID/Bio-monitoring
* Species Richness
3:30 Leave for home/Wren (Wildsouth HQ)
Hike distance is 5 miles roundtrip, or less. The trail has little elevation change but there are briefly steep climbs. There is a shallow, rocky creek crossing and a few steep, narrow stream crossings.
Wear clothes comfortable for hiking, sturdy boots or shoes with good tread for wet, slippery rocks and mud.
Bring a backpack with lunch, snacks and plenty of drinking water; notebook and pen; tick repellent may be needed.
Meet at the Warrior Mountains Trading Company at 11312 AL Highway 33, Moulton, AL at 8:30 a.m..