Wildflower walks begin soon at South Yuba River State Park | TheUnion.com

Wildflower walks begin soon at South Yuba River State Park

Submitted to The Union

South Yuba River State Park is gearing up for its annual spring wildflower walks.

State Park docents will lead guided Wildflower Walks at 11 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday, beginning March 8 and continuing through May 11.

The Buttermilk Bend Trail, which winds above the wild and scenic South Yuba River, is famous for the many species that bloom on its hills and slopes.

Each season, there is an ever changing tableau of spring color. Early season visitors will find Western Buttercups, Larkspur, and Shooting Stars.

By mid-season, the hills turn gold and purple with Tufted Poppies and Narrow Leaf Lupine. Mid to late season brings Fairy Lanterns, Chinese Houses, and Bird's Eye Gilia reveal themselves.

Docents will point out these and many more species and points of interest along the trail.

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Guided hikes last about two hours along the Buttermilk Bend trail, an easy 2.5 mile round trip hike. Meet at the trailhead in the north parking lot, just past the concrete bridge which crosses the South Yuba River on Pleasant Valley Road.

Sturdy walking shoes are recommended and remember to bring water.

A $3 donation is requested and appreciated. Dogs are not permitted on the guided walks as the trail is narrow and the groups can be large.

Also in the park are the Visitor Center, the covered bridge and barn (both built in 1862), and the restored 1920s' gas station.

The Visitor Center, where there is a collection of wildflower books, nature and history displays and many other educational items, is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.

Because of dry winter conditions and late rainfall the 2014 wildflower season may be full of mystery and surprises.

For more information throughout our short season, call the park at 530-432-2546, or go to http://www.southyubariverstatepark.org.

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