Field Trip Parker Woods & Sad Song Creek

General Hike Location: Located along Barrett Mill Road

Driving Distance from the Appalachian Forest Museum: 5 minutes.

Time & Meeting Location: For the hike, meet at 9:15 am at the Barrett Farm House, located on Cave Road. From there we will drop a few cars off on the far end of the trail so that we can shuttle ourselves back to Barrett’s Farm at the end of the field trip.

Directions:To get there, turn left onto Cave Road from the Appalachian Forest Museum parking lot and continue on Cave Road for two miles. The Barrett House will be on your left hand side just before the 90 degree left turn. Follow the driveway to park behind the large historic two story white farmhouse. If you get to the end of Cave Road, you went too far.

Length: 3- 4 miles.

Bring: We will be eating lunch at the top of Celandine Hill at Sad Song Creek, so be sure to bring a day pack to carry your lunch, a filled water bottle, and a piece of plastic to sit on since the ground will likely be wet. There are no restrooms on this trip, so please be prepared to relieve yourself in the wood

Difficulty: This hike is for strong hikers who can cover ground. The trail is moderately difficult because of its length & off-trail hiking.

Description: At 415 acres, the Sad Song Creek, Parker Woods and Shining Springs tracts compose the largest contiguous forest block in the entire Sanctuary region, and we will be seeing all three regions on this trip. We will begin our trip by hiking along Cave Road and entering the valley of Sad Song Creek to view the small but beautiful horseshoe waterfalls. Here large limestone boulders sit astride the creek and tilt at odd angles on the valley walls. In this sheltered valley, each rock is covered with mosses, liverworts, bulblet ferns, walking ferns, columbine and stonecrop.The area is so jumbled with rocks that the creek takes a circuitous braided route to get around them. From there we will work slowly up the flanks of Sad Song Creek, traveling through several forest types, until we reach the knob of Celandine Hill.  From the top of Celandine Hill we can enjoy a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape of protected preserves and Mennonite farms, and will likely see the knob crowned with fumitory, celandine poppy, spring beauties and false mermaid.. After lunch we will descend the other side of Celandine Hill and enter into the new campaign property for which we are currently fund-raising, the 185-acre Parker Woods. This tract comprises the other half of Celandine Hill and the entirety of a second feature known as Friendship Hill. Click here for more information on the Parker Woods Campaign.