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Fitch Mountain Park and Open Space Preserve Rare Plant Treasure Hunt
March 24 @ 9:15 am - 2:00 pm
Fitch Mountain Park and Open Space Preserve (owned and managed by City of Healdsburg)
Leader: Kate Symonds (retired USFWS biologist)
Sunday, March 24, 2019, 10 AM – 2 PM
Fitch Mountain is a heavily forested “island” rising 991 feet in elevation with the Russian River wrapping around 3 sides of its base and the City of Healdsburg on the other side. We’ll start our plant walk at the Villa Chanticleer parking area at 10 AM and we’ll gradually make our way up the shady, winding fire road to the 991-foot summit, from where we can peek at views of Healdsburg, Russian River, Dry Creek, Alexander Valley, and beyond. We’ll have lunch at the top. Along the way we will pass through a mixed evergreen forest of black oaks, coast live oak, madrone, California bay laurel, big leaf maple, Douglas fir, and pockets of second growth redwoods. We’ll see a number of wildflower species scattered along the way. Rare species along that trail include the Napa false indigo (Amorpha californica var. napensis) a CNPS Rare Plant Rank 1B species. We’ll also see redwood ivy, also called inside-out flower, (Vancouveria planipetala) and numerous other forest floor species.
There is a port-a-potty at the parking lot only. Dogs should be left at home if planning on being with the group. The trail is a wide fire road, so it’s easy to avoid poison oak, but it is steep in places. Recommend sturdy shoes and hiking poles. Bring lunch and water. We’ll eat lunch at the top. The hike is mostly shady. Total mileage is approximately 5 miles (half of it downhill)!
We’ll meet at the lower parking lot for the Villa Chanticleer, 908 Chanticleer Way, Healdsburg, CA at 10am. Carpooling is encouraged. West county carpool leaves 9:15am from Sebastopol Luckys parking lot.
Directions: From Highway 101, take the Dry Creek exit and go east., turn right (north) on Healdsburg Avenue, turn left (east) onto Powell Avenue, turn right at Chanticleer Way (there is a large Villa Chanticleer sign), make the 1st left at the “Playground and Parking” sign, and park in the parking lot
Leader contact: Kate Symonds 707-318-3183