This Eno River Spring Hike is unique in that it is not on the Eno River, but on the nearby Flat River, in a section with spectacular spring ephemeral wildflowers. The hike starts and ends along the gravel access roads in the floodplain of the Flat River above Falls Lake. We will walk about a half mile before entering the levee floodplain forest in a wide bend of the Flat River. Once in the woods there is no defined trail, but the terrain is relatively flat and the vegetation is open. This site is one of the significant natural heritage sites recorded on Corps of Engineers land at Falls Lake. The site boasts a showy display of spring ephemerals, with acres of Dutchman’s Breeches, along with abundant and rare Enemion biternatum (Eastern False Rue Anemone) and numerous other wildflowers. The shrub layer consists of spicebush, pawpaw, and painted buckeye, which will be in various stages of flowering. Wear sturdy shoes and long pants, and bring gloves if you are inclined to pull out any invasive Chinese privet seedlings we are likely to encounter. During the hike we’ll discuss the bedrock geology, soils and soil chemistry, geomorphology and fluvial processes, and cultural history of the site, which also happens to straddle the Indian Trading Path where it crosses the Flat at a natural ford.
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