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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Muhlenberg botanic Club Spring 2011 Field Trips


All trips will be led by Joan King; if you intend to participate in any of the trips outside of Lancaster Co., please let her know (717-284-5239 or

Saturday, April 23: Little Cove, Franklin County
This is a rich limestone woodland where we should see Trillium cuneatum, Jeffersonia diphylla, Delphinium tricorne, and Dodecatheon amythestinum, among others.
Walk rating: moderate; an all day trip.
Meet at North Museum at 7:00 a.m.; we will carpool from there. Bring a bag lunch.
Saturday, May 14: Benton Hollow, Lancaster Co. PA
This is a rich river glen with trillium, mertensia, trout-lily, and violets.
Walk rating: moderate. Prepare for wet feet since we hop across a small stream.
Meet at the site at 10:00 a.m. Bring a bag lunch to take on the trail.
Directions: Take PA Rt. 272 from Lancaster through the Buck intersection with PA Rt. 372. Continue south on Rt. 272 for about three miles to Chestnut Level Road, where you will see the Valley View Restaurant. Turn right on Chestnut Level. Turn left at River Road and then take the first right, Slate Hill Road. Follow Slate Hill to Harmony Ridge Drive, where you turn right. Continue on Harmony Ridge Road where it intersects with Furniss Road. Turn left on Bald Eagle Road, which leads down a hill. The Ferncliff Preserve is at the bottom of the hill on the right at the sign.

Saturday, June 25: Webb's Mill Bog, Bill Smith's bog garden, Rare Find Nursery, Ocean        Co., NJ
Joint all-day trip with Delaware Valley Chapter of North American Rock Garden Society.
Meet at the North Museum at 7:00 a.m. for carpooling. Bring a bag lunch; prepare for wet feet.

Webb's Mill Bog: A boardwalk and trail lead to a Pine Barrens bog that supports a variety of plants, including rare curly grass ferns, sundews, and pitcher plants. The area is part of a cedar swamp that had been cleared and is regenerating. Beaver occasionally flood the area, so prepare for wet feet! The bog is located in the northern part of a 27,298-acre wildlife management area.

From Philadelphia: Go east from Cherry Hill on NJ Rt. 70 for about 20 miles after NJ 73 branches off. Turn right on NJ Rt. 72 (going southeast). Go about 14 miles to the intersection with county Rt. 539. Turn left (north) and go 6.2 miles. Park by the bridge that crosses Webb's Mill Branch (about 6 miles south of Whiting). The boardwalk is visible from this point.
 Or an alternate from the west: Take the PA turnpike east then, near Norristown, I-276 east, I-95 north, I-195 east; Garden State Parkway south; county Rt. 530 west (exit near Toms River) through Whiting; left (south) on state Rt. 539 about 7 miles to the bridge that crosses Webb's Mill Branch.

The boardwalk is on the opposite side of the road from the "Greenwood Wildlife Management Area" sign, a few yards toward State Rt. 72. Look carefully amid the vegetation at the roadside for the steps leading down into the swamp area.

Bill Smith's garden (about 25 miles north of the bog):
Bill is an employee of Rare Find Nursery and has built himself two large free-floating bog gardens. We will see his garden in the afternoon.

Information about the nursery:; 957 Patterson Road; Jackson, NJ 08527; 732-833-0613
From March 15 thru November 31, it is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 pm. Open by appointment other days. Call 732-833-0613.
Directions to the nursery from I-195 in NJ: take Exit 16-B (the exit for Great Adventure and Jackson Outlet Mall), and turn right at the end of the ramp, which will put you on Rt. 537 East. Stay on Rt. 537 for less than one mile. Bear right onto Wright-Debow Rd., and continue for 1.3 miles. Immediately after the bridge over I-195, make a sharp right onto Patterson Rd. You will see the nursery on your left. Follow Patterson Rd. to the nursery entrance at green iron gates.

Saturday, July 9: Rock Springs Serpentine Barrens, Fulton Township
This 176-acre preserve is home to serpentine aster, prairie dropseed, and other species adapted to the harsh soil. Walk rating: moderate. Bring a bag lunch to eat on the walk.
Meet at the preserve at 10:00 a.m.
Directions: Take PA Rt. 272 south from Lancaster City through the intersection with 372 (the Buck). Continue on 272 to Wakefield to the point where 272 and 222 diverge. Do NOT follow 272, which makes a sharp turn to the left, but go straight on Rt. 222 for approximately 4.5 miles. Turn right onto Mason-Dixon Road and go approximately .6 mile. Park in the small gravel lot on the right side of the road. The trailhead is by the Nature Conservancy sign.

Saturday, August 6: Laurel Hill State Park, Somerset Co. PA
Since we have not seen this site in many years, we have no idea what we will find; we hope to see Platanthera  peramoena and purple fringless orchis.
Walk rating: moderate, prepare for wet feet. Bring a bag lunch.
Meet at the North Museum at 7 a.m. or at Laurel Hill Visitor Center at 10:30 a.m.
Directions: From I-76, Exit 110 (Somerset), drive west on PA 31 from Somerset for eight miles; turn left onto Trent Road and follow the directional signs to Laurel Hill State Park. The park may also be reached from I-76, Exit 91 (Donegal) by turning left (east) on PA 31 and traveling 14 miles. Follow the directional signs to the right turn onto Trent Road, and, from there, to the park.

Saturday, September 10: Lock 12, York Co. PA
One of our favorite sites to explore, this is a unique scour zone community with plants from the north and south. Also growing there are coastal plain species and prairie remnants. We should see asters, goldenrods, and purple gerardia, and many other species.
Walk rating: difficult (climbing over rocks). Bring a lunch to take along on the hike.
Meet at10:00 a.m. at Lock 12.
From Lancaster: Take PA Rt. 272 south to the Buck, then turn right (west) onto Rt. 372. Follow 372 for about 7 miles. After you cross the Norman Wood Bridge, take the first right turn, McCalls Ferry Rd. The entrance to the parking lot is immediately on your right. Meet in the lower lot.
From York: Take Rt. 74 south. Turn left onto Rt. 372 and go about two miles. Turn left onto McCalls Ferry Rd. just before crossing the Susquehanna River. The entrance to the parking lot is immediately on your right. Meet in the lower lot.

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