Trip Report: Signs of Spring on Forks of the River Hike

Girls hiking out on the Dozer Trail, part of Knoxville's Urban Wilderness in Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area

Girls hiking out on the Dozer Trail, part of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness in Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area

It was an early February day, but Girls Outside saw many signs of spring on our Ijams-Forks of the River hike last weekend. Taking advantage of the unseasonably warm and sunny day, 15 young girls and 5 women followed the Urban Wilderness Trail from Ijams Meads Quarry into the Forks of the River Wildlife Managment Area. Along the way we encountered singing frogs, greening-up meadows, and a few trees with new buds. White-throated sparrows, Northern Mockingbird, Northern Cardinal, and American Crow were just a few of the birds sighted.

After walking for about a mile on Will Skelton Greenway, we paused for a snack break along the river and discovered a clump of beautiful horsetails growing nearby. Then, turning off to follow the Dozer trail, we followed a spur which took us up on a bluff overlooking the river. On the way back we passed many beautiful cedar trees and a neat old silo. Another highlight was encountering the field of corn that TWRA had planted to attract wildlife, with the corn still on the stalks. Check out our photo gallery on Facebook!

Almost all of the girls were new to G.O. Ten of the girls came as a group from the city of Knoxville’s Cecil Webb Recreation Center, and one girl was along for her second G.O. hike. Catherine Crawley, Miriam Davis, and Kelly Sturner were this hike’s G.O. guides, and we also enjoyed the company of 2 “honorary” guest guides: a parent and a program specialist from Knoxville Parks & Recreation.

Everyone had a great day! When asked at the end what was their favorite part, several of the girls said, “All of it!” We couldn’t agree more.

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