This hike is somewhat difficult and will be off trail, with some bushwhacking and one steep climb. This usually requires about three hours. If there have been recent rains, parts of the trail may be muddy. The hike will lead you to a noteworthy natural area called Willie Duke’s Bluff where you see outstanding displays of spring wildflowers, including some that are rare and unusual in our area of the Piedmont. The site boasts a showy display of spring ephemerals, with extensive areas of Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria), along with the rare Eastern False Rue Anemone or Isopyrum (Enemion biternatum) and numerous other wildflowers, including Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), and both Southern or Dimpled Troutlily (Erythronium umbilicatum), and its northern, tetraploid counterpart (E. americanum). The shrub layer consists of Spicebush (Lindera benzoin), Pawpaw (Asimina triloba), and Painted Buckeye (Aesculus sylvatica), which will be in various stages of flowering.
Wear sturdy shoes and long pants, and bring gloves in case you feel inclined to pull out any invasive Chinese privet seedlings which you might encounter. You will also learn some history and geology along the way.
Please feel free to bring water and snacks. Well-behaved dogs are welcome as long as they are under your control and on a 6 foot leash.
COVID-19 guidelines: As this is an outdoor event, masks and vaccination status are not required to attend. Please practice social distancing to keep yourself and others outside of your group safe and healthy.
This event is rain or shine. We will contact you if severe weather is expected that would cause us to cancel the hike.
If your plans change and you are unable to attend the hike, please contact email@example.com to cancel your registration so that we may offer your spot(s) to our waitlist.
Directions: Coming from the west, take Duke Street North from I-85 (Exit 176). Turn right on Murray Avenue (sign to the Museum of Life and Science), go until it reaches Roxboro Street, turn left and look for the brown sign to Stagville. Turn right here on Old Oxford Road. Go about three miles until Old Oxford crosses the Eno. Immediately after the bridge, turn left on Snowhill Road. Penny’s Bend parking lot will be on the left immediately after you turn.