It’s been a hot summer, but the heat and humidity are waning, and more people are thinking about hiking.
The Friends of Lower Howard’s Creek has scheduled fall hiking trips at the Lower Howard’s Creek Nature and Heritage Preserve beginning next week. Group size is limited, so those who want to participate should call the preserve manager at 744-4888 and leave a message to make reservations.
Hikers should dress according to the expected weather. The terrain at the preserve is steep and rocky, so hikers should wear appropriate shoes or boots. Shallow creek crossings are a possibility on all hikes. Hikers should call the preserve manager if there is a question about suitability of the weather.
It is recommended that hikers carry water and trail snacks. Hiking is free to members of the Friends of Lower Howard's Creek, and a $5 donation is suggested for each non-member.
Unless otherwise noted, all hikes will begin at the main preserve entrance parking lot, 1945 Athens-Boonesboro Road in Clark County.
The schedule is as follows:
— Aug. 27, Saturday, 10 a.m. Kitt’s Hole hike over the “old road.” Kitt’s Hole is a deep pool of the creek and on land recently added to the preserve. It will undoubtedly be hot, so hikers should wear or bring tennis shoes or water sandals for a hike in the creek. It is moderately strenuous and three hours in length.
— Sept. 10, Saturday, 10 a.m. Fall flowers will be the focus of this hike. Fall asters, sunflowers, ironweed, and goldenrod are just a few that should be in bloom. It is moderately strenuous and three hours.
— Sept. 21, Wednesday, 10 a.m. The first day of autumn is three hours and moderately strenuous.
— Oct. 1, Saturday, 10 a.m. Hikers will explore two pieces of property that were added to the preserve during the past two summers. The two-hour hike is moderately strenuous.
— Oct. 22, Saturday, 10 a.m. This hike will be an opportunity to see fall colors Cooler temperatures will make more strenuous hikes less stressful. This one will explore the loop trail that allows long views to the north and south of the preserve. The three-hour hike will be strenuous, with steep climbs.
Any small group who would like to take a private hike on any days other than the ones listed should call and make an appointment at 744-4888.
Other hikes this fall might have guest tour guides, including archaeologists, forest ecologists and photographers. Check the website at www.lowerhowardscreek.org for more information on activities.