PCMS hikers fall for tree identification on recent outings

Members of the Nature Navigators, Polk County Middle School’s hiking club, got their feet wet and learned about fall tree identification recently at Saluda Nature Park and Little Bradley Falls.

Chuck Hearon from Saluda Community Land Trust led a hike through Saluda Nature Park and, along with Laura Baird from the Polk County Parks and Recreation Department, helped hikers identify trees.

Baird had students stopping to smell the, well, not roses, but trees, for identification clues.

On the trek to Little Bradley Falls, the hikers saw firsthand the devastation of the May flash floods. This hike was led by sixth grade science teacher Rowann Hoy and Parks and Recreation director Jerry Stensland.

All students had a splashing good time, crossing Cove Creek and hiking through the mud to get to and from this stunning waterfall.

Eleven of the 16 hikers attending this hike had never seen this waterfall before. One hiker, a girl from Florida, upon first seeing it exclaimed, “Whoa, it is so beautiful!”