Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

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ZantiMissKnit
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Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by ZantiMissKnit » January 22nd, 2014, 1:28 pm

I'm taking suggestions for this year's Chapter Trip. Time-wise, I'm thinking mid- to late-May, early June.

So far, three places in VA have been bandied about on Facebook:

Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest (My suggestion; it's in two counties, neither of which have records in H.E.R.P.) in Central VA

Mt. Roger National Recreation Area in SW VA

Grayson Highland State Park in SW VA

Also, in PA, Rickett's Glen State Park has been suggested. It's a gorgeous place; I was there briefly last year on the way to the last Chapter Trip. Do we want to go to northern PA two years in a row, or try something different?

Again, I'm open to suggestions...

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cbernz
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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by cbernz » January 22nd, 2014, 7:54 pm

Mt. Rogers NRA is hands down my favorite park anywhere, and I've been to a lot of parks. It's gorgeous, uncrowded, and the salamanders literally flow across the trails like water. I've been there 5 or 6 times now, mostly in late May, and always come away with at least 15-16 species of salamanders. Great campgrounds too, with easy access to beautiful and productive trails. On the hike up to Mt Rogers you can pick wild ramps, photograph 3 or 4 different species of trillium, lounge around in the soft grass of an alpine meadow, and flip salamander after salamander through several different vegetative zones. Never been to Grayson Highlands, but it is fairly close by to Mt. Rogers. I don't know how either of those places are for snakes or other herps since I'm always there for salamanders, but I'm sure you can find stuff in the lower elevations.

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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by ZantiMissKnit » January 23rd, 2014, 6:13 am

Mt. Rogers has been generating a lot of excitement on Facebook. I was initially a bit reluctant, since it's a huge schlep for me (13-ish hour drive), but it's a quick detour to Richmond and my sisters live there.

I really hope the discussion continues here, since not everyone is on Facebook in the chapter group.

Somebody did mention finding milks at Mt. Rogers, so there is that...

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mike h
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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by mike h » January 24th, 2014, 1:41 pm

After seeing some of species that live on Mt. Rogers, I'm very excited to visit. I will make it a point whether on the Chapter Trip or not!

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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by Herpin_Time » January 24th, 2014, 3:28 pm

Mt Rogers sounds good to me. Can you say Salamanders !!!!

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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by cbernz » January 24th, 2014, 6:38 pm

Image
View from Appalachian Trail near Mt. Rogers

Image
Hurricane Campground

Image
Yonahlossee Salamander - trash species

Image
under the same log near camp

Image
Even the Two-lines are awesome

Image
So are the Duskies, like this Blue Ridge Mountain Dusky.

Image
Pygmy Salamanders are easy to find, but hard to photograph. They jump like crickets.

Image
Same with Blackbellies - very common in the streams, but almost impossible to pose.

Image
It's shocking to come from the deer-ravaged Northeast and find a place that still has some decent understory left, full of native plants like this White Trillium.

It's no place for snake snobs, but in my view it's a likely candidate for best salamandering spot on the planet.

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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by incuhead2000 » January 25th, 2014, 6:01 pm

The amount of gummy lizards there is astounding and I am reserving time off and gas cash. I REALLY look forward to meeting everyone this year!

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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by Darnell Brister » January 26th, 2014, 10:25 am

I think that a trip to Mount Rogers NRA sounds awesome. There are so many salamanders down there!!

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pete
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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by pete » January 26th, 2014, 2:14 pm

I hope you go there so I can herp vicariously!
The trillium is trillium undulatum, painted trillium. The coolest of all the trilliums in my opinion. :D

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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by Herpin_Time » January 26th, 2014, 2:36 pm

Since it was mentioned
http://m.dcnr.state.pa.us/StateParks/Pa ... CSORG=6417

Ricketts glen state park would benefit to PARS with Columbia / LuZerne and Sullivan counties

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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by Herpin_Time » January 26th, 2014, 2:37 pm

But I'm for Mt. Rogers

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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by ZantiMissKnit » January 27th, 2014, 9:07 am

Because last year's Chapter Trip was in the same area as Rickett's Glen (Mike and I stopped there on our way), we're going to do a different area this year.

PA is pretty much smack dab in the middle of our chapter, and it does have loads of diversity, but I think Mt. Rogers is the way to go this year! We'll hammer down some dates and details soon.

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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by ZantiMissKnit » January 27th, 2014, 11:14 am

Potential Species list for Mt. Rogers (and SW Virginia in general):

Frogs and Toads

Eastern American Toad
Fowler's Toad
Southern Toad
Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad
Cope's Gray Treefrog
Gray Treefrog
American Bullfrog
Green Frog
Pickerel Frog
Wood Frog
Mountain Chorus Frog
Upland Chorus Frog
Spring Peeper

Salamanders

Jefferson Salamander
Spotted Salamander
Marbled Salamander
Green Salamander
Northern Dusky Salamander
Shovel-nosed Salamander
Seal Salamander
Alleghany Mountain Dusky Salamander
Pygmy Salamander
Blue Ridge Dusky Salamander
Black Bellied Salamander
Black Mountain Salamander
Northern Two-lined Salamander
Southern Two-lined Salamander
Bue Ridge Two-lined Salamander
Long-tailed Salamander
Cave Salamander
Blue Ridge Spring Salamander
Kentucky Spring Salamander
Northern Spring Salamander
Four-toed Salamander
Common Mudpuppy
Red-spotted newt
Eastern Red-backed Salamander
White-Spotted Slimy Salamander
Northern Slimy Salamander
Valley and RIdge Salamander
Cumberland Plateau Salamander
Northern Gray-cheeked Salamander
Southern Ravine Salamander
Southern Zigzag Salamander
Wehrle's Salamander
Weller's Salamander
Yonahlossee Salamander
Midland Mud Salamander
Blue Ridge Red Salamander
Northern Red Salamander

Lizards

Eastern Fence Lizard
Five-lined Skink
If we head East we might see...
Southeastern Five-lined Skink
Northern Coal Skink
Eastern Six-lined Racerunner
Broad-headed Skink

Snakes

Northern Copperhead
Timber Rattlesnake
Eastern Wormsnake
Northern Black Racer
Northern Ring-necked Snake
Eastern Hog-nosed Snake
Eastern Kingsnake
Eastern Black Kingsnake
Eastern Milksnake
Northern Watersnake
Northern Rough Greensnake
If we head North a slight chance of Smooth Greens
Black Ratsnake
Red Cornsnake
Queensnake
Northern Brownsnake
Northern Red-bellied Snake
Common Ribbonsnake
Eastern Gartersnake
Eastern Smooth Earthsnake

Turtles

Eastern Spiny Softshell
Snapping Turtle
Eastern Painted Turtle
Northern Map Turtle
Eastern River Cooter
Strip-necked Musk Turtle
Eastern Musk Turtle
Eastern Box Turtle
Cumberland Slider

There are several lifers on there for me...

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mike h
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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by mike h » January 27th, 2014, 2:04 pm

cbernz wrote: Image
Yonahlossee Salamander
That Yonahlossee Salamander is ridiculously beautiful!

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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by roosters977 » January 27th, 2014, 4:25 pm

Sounds like an awesome trip! I will definitely be there!

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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by btskanks » January 28th, 2014, 11:51 am

Ricketts. Is so beautiful, but I found few snakes, my wife loved watching all the bats feeding above the lake and hiked all 23 waterfalls.

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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by Herpin_Time » January 28th, 2014, 2:24 pm

I'm sold on the species list of Mt. Rogers.

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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by snakegirl24 » January 29th, 2014, 6:44 am

Sounds amazing! I may try and make it out this year!

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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by Zombie_Kid » February 8th, 2014, 8:43 pm

Came here to say Appomattox-Buckingham state forest is not great. I haven't personally been there, but my adviser radio tracked black rats there. He did find 1 or 2 corns, but other than that it apparently isn't great. Honestly, after living in VA for the past 3 years and herping every damn corner of the state , the central Piedmont region is crap for herping. Its ugly and not abundant and certainly not diverse in herps. With that said, Mt. Rodgers would be great, and Grayson would be fine too.

will lattea
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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by will lattea » February 16th, 2014, 10:01 am

Mt Rogers is great! Especially if you like to backpack.

Have any dates been set? I would avoid memorial day weekend- it can get really crowded.


Image

Image

Image

Image


There's a lot of great herping and camping in southwestern VA!


:beer:

Will

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cbernz
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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by cbernz » February 16th, 2014, 12:45 pm

will lattea wrote: I would avoid memorial day weekend- it can get really crowded.
Maybe crowded by rural Virginia standards. I've done Memorial Day weekend there 3 times, and never had a problem with crowds in the places I visited. I do, however, usually show up there before the actual weekend to claim my camping spot.

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spinifer
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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by spinifer » February 16th, 2014, 5:19 pm

What the hell are those horses doing there?

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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by cbernz » February 16th, 2014, 5:59 pm

spinifer wrote:What the hell are those horses doing there?
They live there on the mountain.

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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by jimoo742 » February 20th, 2014, 7:52 am

Any dates picked for this? If it is spring, I'd have to start asking for vacation now to even have a chance.

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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by ZantiMissKnit » February 20th, 2014, 8:47 am

cbernz wrote:
will lattea wrote: I would avoid memorial day weekend- it can get really crowded.
Maybe crowded by rural Virginia standards. I've done Memorial Day weekend there 3 times, and never had a problem with crowds in the places I visited. I do, however, usually show up there before the actual weekend to claim my camping spot.
I'm avoiding scheduling it for Memorial Day weekend or the weekend of Father's Day, since many people might already have plans with their families.

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ZantiMissKnit
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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by ZantiMissKnit » March 12th, 2014, 4:54 am

It's been decided. June 6 - 8 at Mount Rogers National Recreation Area in Virginia. There are a number of campgrounds in the area; I'll try to get some links up about it.

Meanwhile, if you plan on going, PM me so I can get a headcount.

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snakegirl24
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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by snakegirl24 » March 12th, 2014, 7:19 am

Oh no!! I have a wedding in Mexico that week to go to!! :( Sad im gonna miss out again! Have fun!

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Re: Suggestions for 2014 NE Chapter Trip

Post by axeman2729 » March 21st, 2014, 4:43 am

Id like to see a trip around the pittsburgh area maybe not this year but eventually. as I cant really go very far right now. I would be willing to show people where some good spots are and maybe go looking for massasaugas.

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