2019 Little River Canyon NP BioBlitz's Journal

May 14, 2019

Just a few rules.....

We want participants to have a fun time and learn a lot....however, we ask that everyone follow Leave No Trace principles. That means we need to leave the areas we visit just as we found them. A few rules include:
-Prevent or minimize trampling. When getting off trail, don't wander too far so as to not get lost. Stay together.
-If you lift or roll a rock, log, or cover board, please put it back exactly how you found it. These microhabitats are import for our fauna....it's their homes, be a good visitor. If a log is too rotten to roll, then leave it be.
-Don't seek out Federal or State listed species, but if you do encounter them, please obscure the location of your observation. Park staff will see the exact location, not the public.
-Don't disturb or move any marked flagging or pins that are associated with research on-going in the park.
-When venturing on your own, please be aware there are black bears and venomous snakes in the park. Do not try to approach them. No observation is worth potentially compromising your safety. Only document in a way/distance that is safe for you and the wildlife. If you choose to handle small fauna, such as insects or salamanders, please use caution and bring no harm to them. Remember, we are the guests in their home....so be a good visitor! Be gentle, and be quick.

Last thing....PHOTOS. Please take several shots so that you can have as much evidence as possible to crack the case of identifying your subject. For plants, get a close shot of flowers, leaves (top and bottom), plant base, stalks/stems. For wildlife it can be tricky, critters don't sit still like plants. Please don't pick up snakes, only let the professionals handle them. For small creatures (frog, beetle, spider,etc), make sure you get a good picture of the face/eyes, back (front too if possible), and sides. Make sure your subject is focused and the center of attention in the pictures. The more photos you take, the better. You can vet the bad pics and choose the goods ones when you sync your data at the VC or home. You can choose to sync your data in the field...just be mindful of your data limits and lack of cell coverage in some areas of the park.

Posted on May 14, 2019 23:07 by maryshew maryshew | 0 comments | Leave a comment


The blitz officially begins Friday morning at 6:00 AM and wraps up Saturday at 6:00 PM. More information can be found at the Little River Canyon Center (472 AL Hwy 35, Fort Payne). There is free Wi-Fi in the Center where participants can sync observations if they choose to not do so in the field. There will also be a table with field guides to help you key out your observations.

Friday night, we will be black-lighting for insects as well as night hiking along the river down at Canyon Mouth Park from 7:00 to ~10:00. Participants can meet at the Canyon Center to carpool, or just meet us down there. The gates will be open and there is no charge.

We only have two hikes scheduled on Saturday….one at 8:00am and the other at 12:00pm. Both hikes are on the DeSoto Scout Trail, just different segments. Meet at the Canyon Center at the designated times and participants need to carpool and high clearance vehicle is needed. The hikes are strenuous, so take plenty of water and wear the appropriate shoes/clothing. Please note, there will be lots of poisonous ivy, so be aware.

If you want a more simple hike, try Beaver Pond Trail or the Bridge Trail or even the trail down at Canyon Mouth Park that follows the river where it meets Johnnie’s Creek. These are easy hiking and you can document plants and animals along the way. For a bigger adventure, try Powell, Eberhart, or Lower Two-Mile Trails that take down into the belly of the mountain to the river below. They are strenuous hikes, but worth the effort.

Be sure to bring lots of water & snacks, insect repellent, and sunscreen. Also, pack a lunch for your trek. Be prepared for hiking in woodlands, wading the river & streams, and/or sloshing through a wetland, so in addition to your hiking boots, you may want to bring river sandals and rubber boots too!

Posted on May 14, 2019 23:05 by maryshew maryshew | 4 comments | Leave a comment