Saturday, June 20, 2020 from 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM EDT
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Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park 
3370 LaFayette Road
Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742

Driving Directions 


Wild Ones - Tennessee Valley Chapter 

Chickamauga Cedar Glades Hike 

For Tennessee Valley Chapter members only,  join Southeastern Grasslands Initiative botanist Zach Irick for a tour of globally rare glades ecosystems on the Chickamauga battlefield.  We will tour 3 glades, all within reasonable walking distance.  Zach will discuss the ecology and botany of each glade and show the species within the glade. We will also see numerous rare plants.  The terrain is level but walking and standing is a physical requirement.

In addition to its rich history, Chickamauga Park is a botanical treasure, harboring unique natural habitats and several of Georgia’s rarest plants. One of the most distinct ecosystems in the park are the cedar glades - grassy openings where limestone bedrock is exposed or covered in patches by only a few inches of poorly drained soil. Each is only a few acres in size. The climate is harsh -- extremely hot and dry in summer and cold and wet in winter.
As their name implies, cedar glades’ dominant plant is the eastern red cedar, about the only tree that can withstand the harsh conditions. Even so, most of the cedars that we saw in the glades last weekend were stunted -- including some that are probably several hundred years old. Though uncommon elsewhere in Georgia, cedar glades are particularly well developed in the Chickamauga Valley. Despite their austere conditions, the glades have a remarkable beauty and host a rich array of wildflowers and other plants.
Altogether, more than 300 plants grow in cedar glades. Many of them are highly specialized to withstand the thin soils, geology and harsh climate. A few occur only in the glades.

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park has implemented the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and city, county, and state authorities.

As a reminder, CDC guidance suggests that visitors maintain social distancing standards of at least 6 feet and refrain from gathering in groups of more than 10 while experiencing the park.  In addition, we are requiring the use of masks and reserve the right to turn people away who do not wear a mask.