Purple Wake Robin plants are abundant

Tom HarringtonAnderson, Our Town Outdoors

Wildflower Report – Norris River Bluff Trail – 29 March 2024

For a change of pace, Tom Harrington visited Norris Dam State Park in Anderson County and hiked the 3-mile Norris River Bluff Trail on Friday, March 29, 2024.

The trail is located in the TVA Small Wild Area on the west side of Norris Dam. The trail is a scenic way to see the Clinch River and enjoy a beautiful forested area, per the park’s website. The trail is mostly located along a gravel pathway and is fairly wide. There are many nice fishing spur trails off the main path.

It’s rated as moderately challenging with an elevation gain of 538 feet.

It takes an average of one hour, 26 minutes to complete. This is a popular trail for birding, fishing and hiking, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of day. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.

Dutchmen’s Breeches

Squaw Root

  • Bishop Caps – Many – Most at peak bloom – some just starting to bloom.
  • Calendine Poppy – Some – Right at peak bloom (half way point of the trail just before starting climb – clockwise).
  • Common Blue Violet – Some – Approaching peak bloom if not at peak bloom.
  • Dutchmen’s Breeches – Many – Most at peak bloom (near the half way point of the trail before starting climb).
  • Golden Ragwort – (1 plant with blooms – At peak bloom.
  • Hepatica – Some – Approaching peak boom.
  • Little Brown Jugs – Few
  • Purple Phacelia – Few – Just starting to bloom (not near peak bloom at this time).
  • Purple Wake Robin – Many – Some at peak bloom, some budded and some past peak bloom (lower section of trail).
  • Rue Anemone – Some – Mostly at peak beauty – Nice – Some on upper section of the trail – scattered.
  • Solomon’s Seal – Very few – Just starting to bloom.
  • Spring Beauty – Some – Most of the blooms were closed up – some at the half way point blooming.
  • Squaw Root – Some – Just starting to come up (most are on the upper section of the trail).
  • Star Chickweed – Few – at peak bloom.
  • Toothwort – Many – Most budded – some just starting to bloom – some on far end past peak bloom.
  • Trout Lily – Many – At various stages in the blooming process – Some past peak bloom – Some at peak bloom.
  • Wild Phlox – Some – Some just starting to bloom – some just past halfway point are at peak bloom.
  • Yellow Trillium – Many – Some budded – some at peak bloom.

Notes: It was a cool morning – many of the Trout Lilies, Spring Beauties and Toothwort blooms were closed. With warm temps and while in the sunshine probably the Trout Lilies and Spring Beauty blooms would open.

Tom Harrington is a regular hiker who reports on wildflowers in the area.


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