Wildflower Hike planned for Becks Mill

BEDFORD – Plans have been finalized for the White River Forestry Committee Wildflower Hike on Saturday, April 16 at Becks Mill near Salem. The hike was originally planned for 2020 but was delayed due to Covid19. Carroll Ritter, who organizes the wildflower hikes each year, said the group is glad to have the hike back on their schedule.

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

Ritter said there is a $10 fee for the hike which includes entrance to the Becks Mill Historic Site, the wildflower hike, and light refreshments. Any funds raised will support other educational efforts of the White River RC&D.

Becks Mill will be open, making cornmeal, and is always a fun place to visit. There will be two hikes offered this year from 10:30 a.m. until Noon and from 12:30 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. Since the hikes are always quite popular, and only a limited number of people can effectively participate in each hike, Carroll said pre-registration is required. Officials ask that payment be done at the time of registration to save your place on the hike.

To register contact Amanda Robbins at the Lawrence County Soil and Water Conservation District Office. She can be reached by email at  amanda.robbins@in.nacdnet.net. Let her know which hike you wish to sign up for and she’ll let you know where to send your payment.

 Kay Yatskievych

Please arrive early. Kay Yatskievych, author of Field Guide to Indiana Wildflowers plans to lead at least one of the hikes and will be there to answer questions and talk with hike participants.  Carroll Ritter of Outdoor Connections will also lead a hike along with 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.

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

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, “with lots of diversity, and we found many interesting wildflowers. People really enjoyed it last time and we are sure they will again.”

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 may want to bring their lunch since picnic tables are available on the site.

In previous years the hikes have often filled up, so make your reservations early by contacting Amanda Robbins at the Lawrence County Soil and Water Conservation District Office. She can be reached by email at  amanda.robbins@in.nacdnet.net or call 812-279-8117, ext 3, and ask for Amanda.