Birding - Among Flame Azaleas

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Friday June 14

8:00 AM  –  2:00 PM

With Kevin Burke

Meeting location: Clingmans Dome Visitor Center. At the bottom of the steps.

Join us for a birding excursion along Forney Ridge Trail to one of the most scenic locations in the park, Andrews Bald.

Our hike begins in a Spruce-Fir forest to look, listen and identify birds living in a high-elevation habitat like Red Crossbills, Red-breasted Nuthatches and Brown Creepers. For the first mile, the trail drops in elevation and then we'll have a slight climb before arriving at Andrews Bald, named for Andres (Andreas) Johnson, who ranged his livestock here in the 1840s. When we reach the bald, we will find ourselves surrounded by rhododendron and flame azalea shrubs, hopefully bursting with color. After the group has taken a break to admire the flora and fauna of the bald we'll make the challenging climb back to the Dome concluding our day at 2 p.m. 

Mileage: 4 miles maximum

Activity Rating: 4-Strenuous. The Forney Ridge Trail begins and ends at Clingmans Dome, the highest mountain in the park at 6,643 feet in elevation. It loses elevation quickly at the start which will make the hike back to our vehicles strenuous.

What to Bring: In addition to your binoculars, field guide and Birds Of The Great Smokies checklist, be sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring along water and enough food for your comfort. Sunscreen, a hat, personal first-aid kit and trekking poles may be helpful as well.

Active/Lapsed Members: Please sign in or register (above) prior to completing this registration.

Non-Members: Please register above prior to completing this registration. When you choose the non-member fee below, you will automatically earn a Buckeye-Level membership good thru a year from today.

All Required: Please read our Waivers and Policy Agreements.

For more information, call Dana Murphy at 865.436.7318, Ext. 349