Exploring Southern Appalachian Forests: An Ecological Guide to 30 Great Hikes in the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia

Exploring Southern Appalachian Forests: An Ecological Guide to 30 Great Hikes in the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia

by Stephanie B. Jeffries, Thomas R. Wentworth

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Overview

This unique hiking guide to the southern Appalachian mountains leads readers to explore the rich forest ecosystems and other natural communities visitors encounter along the trail. Drawing on years of experience guiding forest walks throughout the region, Steph Jeffries and Tom Wentworth invite hikers and nature lovers to see their surroundings in new ways. Readers will learn to decipher clues from the tree canopies, forest floor, and other natural features to appreciate more fully the environmental factors that make the southern Appalachians home to an amazing biodiversity.

These thirty popular hikes in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia range from short walks along Blue Ridge Parkway pull-offs to longer day trips in the region's backcountry. Offering spectacular mountain scenery and natural wildflower gardens, these trails are the perfect place to gain a new appreciation for the natural communities of the region.

Features include
* A summary including distance, difficulty, and GPS coordinates for each hike
* A narrative description of each hike, including the unique natural features waiting to be discovered
* Detailed instructions to keep you on the trail
* Best seasons to go for wildflower and foliage views
* Contact information for each area
* Photos and maps to orient you
* An illustrated guide to southern Appalachia's most common trees and shrubs, including tips on identification

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469618203
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 09/22/2014
Series: Southern Gateways Guides
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 776,453
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Stephanie B. Jeffries is Teaching Assistant Professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University. Thomas R. Wentworth is Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor of Plant and Microbial Biology at North Carolina State University.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction 1

Natural and Human History 7

Natural Communities of the Southern Appalachians 15

Natural Community Overviews 21

Montane Oak Forest 21

Spruce-Fir Forest 22

Cove Forest 25

Low-Elevation Pine Forest 27

Montane Pine Forest and Woodland 28

Northern Hardwood Forest 30

Oak Forest 32

Grass Bald 34

Shrub Bald 35

Seepage Wetland 37

Granitic Dome 38

Rocky Summit 40

The Hikes

Hike Locator Map 44

1 Blood Mountain 47

2 Sosebee Cove 54

3 Brasstown Bald 60

4 Tennessee Rock Trail 68

5 Martin Creek Falls 77

6 Station Cove Falls 83

7 Fork Mountain Trail 91

8 Oconee Bells Nature Trail 100

9 Pinnacle Mountain 104

10 Rainbow Falls 113

11 Satulah Mountain 121

12 Whiteside Mountain 129

13 Hooper Bald 137

14 Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest 143

15 Gregory Bald 153

16 Carlos Campbell Overlook 165

17 Alum Cave 172

18 Ramsey Cascades 180

19 Craggy Pinnacle 187

20 Mount Craig 195

21 Babel Tower and Wiseman's View 201

22 Table Rock 212

23 Roan High Bluff and Roan Gardens 220

24 Grassy Ridge 227

25 Grandfather Mountain 235

26 Elk Knob 245

27 Mount Jefferson 253

28 Whitetop Mountain 259

29 Mount Rogers 266

30 Twin Pinnacles Trail 274

Common Trees and Shrubs of the Southern Appalachians

The Southern Boreal Forest: Spruce-Fir Forest 284

Important Trees of the Northern Hardwood Forest 285

American Chestnut and Oak Family Look-Alikes 286

Oaks 287

Maples 288

Walnut and Hickories 289

Magnolias 290

Pines 291

Other Evergreens 292

Cherries and Birches 293

Rhododendrons 294

Other Heaths 295

Other Canopy Species 296

Other Understory Species 297

Glossary 299

References and Suggested Readings 303

Index 305

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Reading this book is like going on a series of hikes with the authors, and learning how to see the forests of the southern Appalachians through their eyes. Steph Jeffries and Tom Wentworth are wonderful tour guides—pointing out interesting sights, suggesting unique things to look out for, offering helpful wayfaring tips, and sharing their years of experience and intimate knowledge of these forests and trails.—Mary-Russell Roberson, author of Exploring the Geology of the Carolinas: A Field Guide to Favorite Places from Chimney Rock to Charleston

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