“150 miles West of the Northern Neck – What’s Different, What’s the Same”
A Northern Neck Master Naturalist field trip is planned to Bath County Virginia, November 7-10, 2018. This is a visit to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Mountain Region. Bath County is along the border with West Virginia and is west of I-81, the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive.
Here are the main geographic areas where we have planned activities while we are in Bath County Virginia:
The Nature Conservancy – Warm Springs Mountain Preserve (WSMP)
George Washington and Jefferson National Forest (GWJNF)
Douthat State Park (DSP) (Optional trip)
Building and managing a network of resilient forest sites critical to the preservation of biodiversity within the Central Appalachians
Collaboration of non-government organizations (NGO), federal and state agencies to restore the historic fire regime of fire-adapted and fire-dependent pine and oak forest communities
Projected impact of climate change on species, habitats and migration routes within the Commonwealth of Virginia
The trip is focused on the flora, fauna, geology, vernal pools, and geography of the mountains of Virginia. Bird watching and tree and habitat identification opportunities.
Trip is limited to 16 NNMN in good standing.
Bath County is rural and replete with mountains, streams, and forests. https://discoverbath.com/online-visitors-guide/
Each day’s itinerary involves outside experiences in mountainous areas. We will certainly not be at sea level. For instance, Warm Spring Mountain is 3596 feet.
The trip is rigorous as there are multiple interpretive hikes each day to include moderate - and in a few segments - moderate to steep terrain associated with trails in forests, parks, and preserves. Some of the trails are part of DGIF’s Birding and Wildlife Trails. Terrain and “footing” can be uneven along these trails. Trails are occasionally muddy and wet due to rain, streams, and paths along wetland areas. Individuals should be able to climb ten flights of stairs and walk on rocky and uneven terrain. Anticipate 5 to 8 miles of hiking most days of the trip. As these are interpretive hikes we will be stopping at many points along the trail to observe and discuss, take pictures, and assure that we are hydrated and nourished. Hiking boots and a rain jacket are highly recommended.
Temps will range from the low 50s to the low 30s.
As hunting is prevalent in Virginia and particularly in forested areas all attendees should bring and wear some blaze orange clothing items while we are on interpretive hikes. This is similar to precaution taken by many of us on the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula for bird walks, nature walks, and kayaking during deer, turkey, and other hunting seasons. A few loaner blaze orange vests and hats will be available.
The PDF below has details about the trip, the proposed agenda, and information on how to register and pay for the trip
Please contact Jeff Wright with questions about the trip to include questions about lodging and the each days activities.