Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gwinnett County: Little Mulberry Park – East Meadow Trail (Part 1)

When I got to the 0.75-mile marker where a trail connects the West Meadow Trail to the East Meadow Trail, I decided I had time to walk the East Meadow Trail too.

The East Meadow Trail is paved but seems to be more intimate than the West Meadow Trail. The trail winds a little more and threads its way among small clusters of trees. Some areas have been mowed but most of the area is natural.

A trail begins by winding through some woods.

As the trail starts, a cross-country trail goes straight ahead.

Once out of the woods at the beginning, the trail winds through an open area dotted with trees. The sign on the left states: Meadow Restoration.

The cross-country trail wound around the end of the woods where the trail began and crossed the paved trail. It then followed the mowed path along the edge of the woods. I’m not sure where it went; that has to wait for a future walk.

A view to the southeast. Although there is a small subdivision just outside the park boundary, the view from the trail is rural.

The trail winding through another cluster of trees in the open meadow.

A Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) plant that survived the winter in the open. New leaves are developing.

The trail winds though more trees. This turned out to be a special spot on this walk.

A characteristic rosette of Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) in bud. I wasn’t really looking for wildflowers. It seemed a little early to expect any. But there it was! There were a few plants starting to bud. They were in a spot that would get an hour or so of sun in the middle of the day but were protected from radiant cooling at night. (I’d seen some rosettes in protected areas around our house. When I got home, I checked and found a single plant starting to bud). Spring is on the way.

A closer view. The purple colored stems of the young plants makes them easy to spot.

At about the mid-point of the trail, the path moved into the open. Here, the East Mulberry Trail enters the
meadow from the woods to the northeast. It’s an un-paved path – an equestrian trail that crosses the meadow before it exits back into the woods to the northwest.

The sign for the East Mulberry Trail warns of its steepness.

The trail winds along the meadow at the edge of the woods.

A view from the meadow to the southwest.

A sentinel tree in the meadow just before the trail winds back into the woods.

(To be continued)

Click on an image to view a larger image


- Gwinnett Parks and Recreation: Little Mulberry Park

- Southeastern Flora: Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

Related posts:

- Gwinnett County: Little Mulberry Creek Park – West Meadow Trail

- Gwinnett County: Little Mulberry Park – Miller Lake Trail

- Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)

No comments: