Come hike to the top of Hughes Mountain Natural Area and view glade life on ancient 1.5-billion-year-old rhyolite rock. Come see fame flower (Phemeranthus calycinus), farkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum) and prickly-pear cactus (Opuntia compressa) vying for life. If we’re lucky we might spot the exquisitely camouflaged lichen grasshopper (Trimerotropis saxatilis). We’ll also get to see the unusual columnar jointed rhyolite rocks, which are also known from Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. A mile-long trail leads from the parking lot to the top of this knob. We’ll be hiking on the trail as well as some off-trail hiking.
Meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Hughes Mountain Natural Area parking lot. Be prepared for a few miles of both on and off trail hiking. Be prepared for ticks, heat, rocky terrain and brush. Remember to bring plenty of water and sun protection. Bring a field lunch. Binoculars will be handy to view prime spring migration songbirds. Species checklists and maps will be provided. Note there are no restrooms except the outdoors at this site.
MPF 2021 Geology and Native Grasslands Tours
From ancient seas and volcanoes to drifting continents, the broad sweep of earth’s history is written in the rocks and soils that directly influence the structure and composition of Missouri’s native grasslands. In this tour series, MPF Technical Advisor Mike Leahy will be our guide to explore the direct and fascinating connections between the native plant and animal species of native grasslands and geology. Mike Leahy is a natural community ecologist and coordinates work to protect and manage land in the Missouri Natural Areas program. He is also the author of the newly revised Discover Missouri’s Natural Areas: A Guide to 50 Great Places.
Cost: Free. Maximum registration: 20 per hike. Register for one hike or all. We can put you on waiting lists if registration fills up. Secure your spot by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 573-808-7007.
Note: Tours will be held rain or shine. If storms/lightning is predicted, tour leaders will contact registrants in the event we need to reschedule. Even though tours will be outside, tour leaders ask that participants practice social distancing and wear masks when needed.