Wildflower Hike Planned for Becks Mill

(BEDFORD) – Plans have been finalized for the annual White River Resource Conservation and Development Wildflower Hike on Saturday, April 11. This year the event will be held at Becks Mill near Salem. The $10 fee for the hike will include free entrance to the Becks Mill Historic Site, the wildflower hike, refreshments, and your fee supports other educational efforts of the White River RC&D.

Mayapple in bloom, one of the wildflowers likely to be seen on the Beck’s Mill hike.

Becks Mill will be open, making cornmeal, and is always a fun place to visit. There will only be one time for the hike this year from 10:30 a.m until 12:30 p.m., but those attending will be divided into two groups and go in different directions on the trail loop. Those attending should register by 10 a.m. Pre-registration and payment are required to save your place on the hike.

The wildflower hike has traditionally been led by Kay Yatskievych, author of Field Guide to Indiana Wildflowers and Carroll Ritter of Outdoor Connections. This year Yatskievych is unable to attend but Ritter will be stepping up as the primary hike leader. Assisting Ritter is a cadre of natural resource professionals who are well versed in spring ephemeral wildflowers, trees, vines, invasives, and other plants. Janet Eger, Bob Moss, and others will be assisting with the hike.

The hike was last held at Becks Mill in 2014. At that time Yatskievych and Ritter compiled a comprehensive list of plants. The area was rich with flowering plants that April with 102 species of wildflowers, vines, and small shrubs.

There were also 40 species of trees and larger shrubs, many of which will be blooming if people know what to look for, and 7 species of ferns.

Ritter is pleased to be going back to Becks Mill, “It’s a very interesting area,” he notes, “lots of diversity and we found many interesting wildflowers. People really enjoyed it last time and we are sure they will again.”

Purple phlox in bloom, another woodland wildflower found at Becks Mill.

The hike is conducted in light rain but canceled if severe weather approaches. The terrain is rolling hills and the trails are not steep but wear sturdy shoes because the trail tread is dirt and rock.  People are encouraged to bring their lunch since picnic tables are available on the site and its always nice to eat together after the hikes.

In previous years the hikes have often filled up, so make your reservations early by contacting Michael Wilhite at the Orange County Soil & Water Conservation District, at 573 SE Main St. in Paoli, or by calling 812-203-3033, or emailing Michael.Wilhite@in.nacdnet.net.