Friday, August 26, 2016

Towpath Walk This Sunday, Aug. 28, 8:30am

Time for the annual nature walk along the loop trail next to the towpath. We'll meet at 8:30a this Sunday, August 28, along the towpath just west of Harrison Street, where there's a nature trail sign. All are welcome.

We'll catch the overlap between August and September flowers, as JoePyeWeed, ironweed and cutleaf coneflower transition to goldenrods. The wildflowers were getting mowed down until 2006, when I was able to talk DR Canal State Park staff into cutting back on the mowing. The park staff reduced mowing to once a year (less work!), added a broad, well-mowed trail that runs parallel to the main towpath, and the native flora has responded by growing in greater abundance each year.

The nature trail threads through Princeton's closest approximation of an oak savanna, where there are enough openings between trees to allow summer wildflowers to prosper underneath. All of these Hollow-stemmed Joe-Pye-Weeds are facing north, towards a gap in the tree canopy.

We'll see how natural and cultural influences--from canal building to hurricanes--have combined to shape this diverse, dynamic floodplain habitat.

Parking: There are two small parking lots at either end of the Harrison Street bridge. More distant parking is in the Lake Lane area, just off Harrison St. north of the lake, and at a lot on Washington Road just south of the towpath. If you get there late, it should be easy to find us along the trail loop. This link should take you to a map.

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