an incredible number of wildflowers and ferns.
|(See map) This trail leads to the Echo River Spring.|
|These look alot like flowers, but they aren't; they are the tops |
of the male Moss plants. The female plants do not have
this florette structure.
|You can see the red cedars are slowly being shaded out.|
With enough time this area will be nothing but deciduous trees.
|The white flowers growing in the crevices of the boulders|
|When you get to this point turn left to head toward the|
Echo River Spring. If you turn right you will head toward
the Mammoth Dome Sink (sinkhole). See the map.
|Notice that the closer you get to the river the more deciduous |
trees you see, indicating the richness of the soil.
|The mosses and lichens are breaking-up the upper rock layer,|
creating soil, allowing larger plants to grow.
|White Swamp Milkweed?|
|The leaves of Crossvine|
|A fallen flower (Crossvine)|
|A spider seeking shelter in the flower of a Lyreleaf Sage.|
|Now the deciduous trees dominate. Most of the Red Cedars |
have been shaded out and have died.
|Moss and Ebony Spleenworts|
|A species of Moss with sporophytes.|
|Wood Violets with their distinctive palmate leaves.|
|Ahead is the Echo River Spring Trail. Turn left at the sign |
to see the Echo River Spring.
|The Echo River Spring is on the bottom left of this|
map. Water comes out of the cave system, flows
along the Echo River and then flows into
the Green River.
|This is a handicap-accessible trail,|
just constructed this year (2019).
|There are some gigantic trees here, like this|
|The Green River (hidden) is straight ahead.|
|Now you're walking parallel to the Green River,|
which is on your left (out of the photo).
Click here to listen to these birds!
|Garlic Mustard flower.|
|A Shelf Fungus at the base of a snag. This is the reproductive|
structure; the main part of the fungus lies within the wood,
|Anyone know the name of this one? |
It was about 18 inches tall; each flower was about
1 inch across.
|The flower of a Mayapple, which has large |
umbrella-like leaves. Flowers will grow at the base of
the leaf stems with 2 leaves; the plants with one leaf are
generally sterile and do not produce flowers.
|Continue straight toward the River Styx.|
The trail to the right will wind back up to the Visitors' Center.
Continue walking on the Echo River Spring Trail and you
will eventually reach this walkway that overlooks the other
spring, the River Styx Spring.
|When you look to your left from the boardwalk you'll see the|
River Styx, below. The spring is directly below you. You
can see the observation deck on the right.
|A beautiful succulent called Stonecrop.|
|Close-up of a Stonecrop flower.|
|The red flowers on the top right are called Fire Pink.|
|Close-up of Fire Pink. Nice color!|
|Purple Phacelia flower with pollinator.|
|Fleabane plants were everywhere, today.|
|A very large species of sorrel: Price's Wood Sorrel?|
|Flower of Price's Wood Sorrel|
|Guyandotte Beauty, aka Synandra|
|Spotted this caterpillar on the boardwalk rails.|
|From the observation deck you will get a good view of the|
River Styx Spring. The rivers running through the cave system
come out here and flow into the Green River.
|Walk toward the river and you will see this trail, |
which leads to a pretty high bluff with a great view
of the river valley.
|This is in the flood plain and has some very rich soil, |
which supports some gigantic trees,
such as these sycamores.
|A spider waiting for prey.|
|One of the many Jacks-in-the-Pulpit seen on the trails.|
|The Green River is on the left.|
|A giant Beech tree!|
|This is the land of the giant trees!|
|After you cross this bridge you begin a |
steady ascent to the top of the bluff.
I saw 4 different kinds of ferns around this bridge!
You can tell they're ferns, because of their fiddleheads,
which other plants do not have.
|A Dryopteris species|
|Northern Maidenhair Ferns|
The walk to the top of the hill is long and winding...so
take your time and look for plants, animals, and fungi.
|This is a close-up of Foam Flower.|
|Dwarf Crested Iris, with its blade-like leaves.|
At the top of the hill you can turn right and walk
the Dixon Cave Trail, which eventually takes you
to the Historic (Cave) Entrance.
|The Historic Entrance|
the gate is locked and you cannot enter, but you can go down
the steps and feel the cool 50 degree air coming out of the cave
and explore the entrance way.
|Northern Maidenhair Ferns|
|Notice the tendril of a plant species wrapped|
around this Jack-in-the-Pulpit.
|Continue up the hill; either turn right to go to the hotel parking lot|
or go straight to go to the Visitors' Center.
This is a fantastic park to take a walk through
the woods. Next time go across the river by ferry
and explore the "wild trails."
Get out and explore your surroundings!
To the ancient people and some people today (including
myself), Summer begins on May 1st, May Day.
To go to my Summer Posts click here.