Wildflower walks available again at South Yuba River State Park | TheUnion.com

Wildflower walks available again at South Yuba River State Park

Now that the rain is finally subsiding and spring is in the air, there is an abundance of beauty to enjoy and be a part of with the various docent-led walks offered at the South Yuba River State Park, according to a release.

Wildflower Walks are offered at least into mid-May every Saturday at 10 a.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. Docent-led hikes last about an hour and a half. The Buttermilk Bend trail is an easy two-mile hike out and back. The Buttermilk Bend Trail, which winds above the wild and scenic South Yuba River, is highly regarded for the many species that bloom on its hills and slopes.

Each season observers are delighted with an ever-changing tableau of spring color. Early season walkers may find western buttercups, zigzag larkspur and shooting stars. By mid-season, the hills usually turn gold and purple with tufted poppies and a variety of lupine. Mid to late season floral treats can include fairy lanterns, Chinese houses and birds-eye gilia. Docents will share facts, legends and the many uses of the flowers and plants along the trail.

Bird Walks will take place on Saturday, April 26, May 3 and May 11 all at 8 a.m. Anticipate seeing birds common to a woodland/riparian habitat such as towhees, dippers, various woodpeckers, blue birds, kinglets, phoebes, quail, bald eagles during the winter breeding season and the many spring migrants in the park (warblers, grosbeaks, swallows and more). All bird walks are also docent led and last about two hours.

Bring picnic lunch and allow time to take in the park visitor center, check out the covered bridge (while is it under renovation) and barn (both built in 1862), and the restored 1920’s gas station.

The visitor center is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday through Sunday

Follow Pleasant Valley Road in Penn Valley north past the visitor center over the South Yuba River to the Bridgeport north parking lot. Parking is $5. Sturdy walking shoes, hat and water are recommended. 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.)

The walks and blooms are at the whim of Mother Nature. Rain may cancel. For more information, call the park at 530-432-2546, or go to http://www.southyubariverstatepark.org.

Source: South Yuba River State Park

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