2014-05-08 / Community

‘Wild’ walks set for forest

Wildflower walks back on Miners Castle Road

MUNISING – “Celebrating Wildflowers Week” is May 18-24. To mark this occasion, botanists on the Hiawatha National Forest and interpreters from Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore will lead wildflower walks along Miners Castle Road near Munising.

Deb LeBlanc, Hiawatha National Forest botanist, will lead wildflower walks on May 24, and May 31. Participants will meet at 1 p.m. at the Hiawatha National Forest-Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore interagency visitor center. The visitor center is located at 400 East Munising Avenue in Munising. There will be a short overview of the native plant program prior to driving to Miners Castle Road.

The group will stop frequently along Miners Castle Road and take short, easy walks into each wildflower viewing spot. The northern hardwood forest along Miners Castle Road provides one of the most diverse mix of spring wildflowers found in the Central Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Subjects discussed during this 2 to 2.5-hour walk include easy identification tips for area spring wildflowers, unique plant characteristics, the northern hardwood forest ecology including the importance of vernal ponds, and tip-up mound topography. Techniques for photographing wildflowers will also be discussed.

Andrea Chynoweth, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore interpreter, will lead wildflower walks on May 25, and June 1. Participants will meet at 1 p.m. at the Miners Castle Information Station at the end of Miners Castle Road in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. This hourlong leisurely stroll will include wildflower identification, northern hardwood forest ecology, and the impact of invasive species.

Comfortable walking shoes recommended for all walks. Be prepared for bugs. Please bring water and your camera.

Celebrating Wildflowers is a National program created by USDA-Forest Service and USDIBureau of Land Management in response to public interest in the conservation and management of native plants.

For more information please the interagency visitor center in Munising at 387-3700.

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