Spring hikes set for Lower Howard’s Creek

Published 8:35 am Friday, March 31, 2017

Sun Staff Report

As spring blooms in Clark County, officials at Lower Howard’s Creek Nature and Heritage Preserve are gearing up for various hikes throughout April, beginning this weekend. 

“Our late winter hikes were very well-attended, with lots of new folks becoming familiar with our beautiful Lower Howard’s Creek valley,” preserve manager Clare Sipple said in a press release issued this week. “…Plant dormancy is breaking early in the valley and we expect an abundance of spring flowers.” 

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The first spring hike will be Saturday with Bill Crankshaw. The valley should be lit up with color as blues — Virginia bluebells, early blue phlox, Jacob’s ladder and dwarf larkspur — begin to bloom during the first two weeks of the month. 

Later this month, hikes will be led by a few special guests: Steven Caudill as Daniel Boone of Kentucky and Tom Kimmerer and Katherine Shaw from Venerable Trees who will host a field school.

On Saturday, April 8, will be a hike with Daniel Boone. Caudill, a Clark County native, is a nationally-known 18th century re-enactor of one of Kentucky’s most famous early pioneers. In character as Boone, Caudill will reminisce about the people, place and events of pioneer Clark County as the group meanders through Lower Howard’s Creek. 

Sipple will lead hike Saturday, April 15, followed by another hike led by Crankshaw Saturday, April 22. 

“It the weather holds, this will probably be our last comfortable day for hiking and observing wildflowers,” Sipple said. “Heat and humidity get high this time of year.” 

All hikes begin at 10 a.m. and last approximately three hours.

The final spring hike will be a presentation of “What do trees know?” by Kimmerer and Shaw from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 22. The field course is the first in a series focused on understanding trees and forests. The course explores the behavior of trees and their interactions with other organisms to explore “what they know.” The hike will include digging up roots and dissecting logs. This hike costs $25 per person or $10 for full-time students. There is no charge for children younger than 18, as long as they are accompanied by an adult. 

Hikers are encouraged to bring snacks and wear sturdy shoes. Dogs are not allowed. 

Hikes are limited to 20 people. To reserve a spot, call 744-4888.