Saturday, June 1, 2013

Hike at Poor Mountain Nature Preserve

Our BRFAL chapter is very fortunate to have Dr. Ryan Klopf as our Chapter Advisor.  Ryan is also the DCR Mountain Region Steward for our part of Virginia.  Ryan offered to take us on a hike at the PoorMountain Natural Area Preserve.  The PoorMountain NAP is comprised of 925 acres in a most beautiful spot.  The moniker “poor mountain” is derived from the fact that the soil on Poor Mountain is notoriously infertile and acidic.  Even so, flora and fauna flourish on Poor Mountain.
          Rewarding view from the top
The pictures below show just a few of nature’s work on Poor Mountain.  Ryan’s extensive knowledge helped educate us Master Naturalists.  The single most interesting thing we learned about was the piratebush (buckleya distichophylla).  This bush is indigenous only in 4 areas of the world and only in Virginia and primarily on Poor Mountain!  These bushes are male and female and are a somewhat pale green in the summer but turn distinctively yellow in the fall.  For more info see:  

If you like to hike, and you like nature, I would highly recommend Poor Mountain NAP.  The trail system is relatively short, but be prepared for some very steep terrain.  Our hike was limited to the shorter inner loop, but the outer loop is much more challenging.

Our thanks go out to Ryan for arranging an informative and enjoyable afternoon.
                                                                  Troup BRFAL
                                                                Tabletop Pinecone
                                                                     American Chestnut
                                                                 Mountain Laurel

1 comment:

  1. My husband and I hiked the outer loop of the Poor Mountain trail last weekend, and it was absolutely beautiful. We were surprised to see many Catawba rhododendrons in bloom, but the Mountain Laurel was not blooming yet. This was definitely one of the best hikes in the Roanoke area...thank you SO much to everyone who constructed this is so well graded and maintained - just a joy to walk!


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