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May 19

Pontoon Boat Field Trip at Edgar Evins State Park

Park Ranger Mark Taylor will lead a boat tour to view endemic native plants of Edgar Evins State Park on May 19, 2024.

Edgar Evins State Park
2100 Edgar Evins State Park Rd, Silver Point, TN 38582
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May 19, 2024 10:45am - May 19, 2024 03:00pm

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Outing Description:

The trip is $15 per person, non-refundable upon registration, but also bring any desired cash tip for the guide as would be appropriate. There are only 12 spots available. Place yourself on the waiting list if registration is full by emailing [email protected], just in case of cancellations. For Wild Ones members only.

The limestone bluffs are an exposed ecosystem which harbor disjunct and relict populations of several interesting species such as the western wallflower and an undescribed species of rose verbena/mock vervain. Where the river cuts deep through Eastern Highland Rim and Cumberland Plateau escarpment regions, steep cliffs made the area ideal for hydroelectric power generation. Unfortunately, prior populations of unusual flora were inundated by the Center Hill lake, and it continues to be threatened by agriculture in the region, development, invasives and natural succession. 

We plan to cruise along the bluffs for about 2 hours viewing the wildflowers from the boat, spend nearly an hour eating lunch on the boat in a quiet cove, and then we may travel over to Floating Mill to see a rookery of Double-crested Cormorants and Great Blue Herons. 

We hope to see many blooms of our target species, the disjunct population of western wallflower (Erysimum capitatum), mock vervain (Glandularia sp. nov.), maybe even some of the recently recognized Tennessee endemic Cumberland leather flower (Clematis cumberlandensis), plus white leaf leather flower (Clematis glaucophylla), Wofford’s wood mint (Blephilia woffordii), Canada milkvetch (Astraglus canadensis), Svenson’s rye grass (Elymus svensonii), large alumroot (Heuchera villosa macrorhiza), and Harper’s umbrella plant (Eriogonum harperi). We’re likely to also encounter woodland pinkroot (Spigelia marilandica), coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), widow’s cross stonecrop (Sedum pulchellum), Tennessee ironweed (Vernonia flaccidifolia), tall bellflower (Campanulatrum americanum), Miami mist (Phacelia purshii), zig-zag spiderwort (Tradescantia subaspera), golden St. Johnswort (Hypericum frondosum), fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica), and other endemic flora. 

After the boat trip is complete, and as time allows, we can view some of these plants and more species up close along a hardly used stretch of hwy 141. This easy access spot is sandwiched between the banks of the Caney Fork and a rock wall of limestone bluffs, just 1-2 miles downstream of the dam.

Hike Leader: Park Ranger Mark Taylor will lead a boat tour to view endemic native plants of Edgar Evins State Park.


Rating:  Easy

Distance / Duration: Boating time about 3 hours, then a ¼ mile roadside exploration option afterward.

General: Bring binoculars and a camera with zoom. Bring snack/water and lunch, insect repellent, sunscreen, appropriate shoes for traction on potentially wet boat deck. Dress appropriately depending on recent weather and forecast. Parasol/umbrella +/- poncho depending on the forecast. Swimming attire and towel if you desire to take a dip during the lunch break. No pets at any of our Wild Ones outings please.


The Tennessee Conservationist Article

iNaturalist flora of Edgar Evins area