Skip to Content

Native Hikes Project

Posted on by Doug Lockard

White Turtlehead. Photo by Janie Marlow.

My wife Patty and I love to hike at Paris Mountain State Park.  It’s close by and affords great cardio exercise in a beautiful setting.  We hike all the trails throughout the year, but our favorite is a combination we call the ‘Mutt Trail’.  It links four trail sections beginning in the upper parking lot, then proceeding north on the Brissy Ridge trail, then west at the intersection with Kanuga, and then south for a short piece on the Fire Tower Trail, and the last (and downhill) leg on Sulphur Springs back to the parking lot.  It’s about 3.3 miles with a gradient of only 195 feet (mostly on the second leg) and the signage is easy to follow. Because this trail combination is a virtual circle you get to experience a nice range of plant communities with their corresponding native plants that thrive in each.

Over the month of August, I began experimenting with a new picture identification phone app called ‘Picture This’ while hiking the Mutt Trail and I recorded over 75 native species with reasonable confidence.  It occurred to me that with a little help from others, we could map more trails throughout the Upstate with seasonal updates as part of an anecdotal observation project.  There are other plant identification apps we could also experiment with as part of the same project and compare notes on these as well. Check out iNaturalist as well as Picture This!


  • Bublet Bladderfern Cystopteris bulbifera
  • Christmas Fern Polystichum acrostichoides
  • Western Brackenfern Pteridium aquilinum
  • Broom Forkmoss Dicranum scoparium
  • Common Hairmoss Polytrichum commune
  • Juniper Haircap Polytrichum juniperinum


  • Flowering Spurge Eujphorbia corollata


  • Basketgrass Oplismenus hirtellus (Considered an invasive native)
  • Beetleweed Galax urceolata
  • Blue ridge Blueberry Vaccinium pallidum
  • Butterfly Pea Clitoria mariana (aka Atlantic pigeon wings)
  • Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa
  • Bursting-heart Euonymus americanus (aka Strawberry bush)
  • Canada Giant Cane Arundinaria gigantea
  • Goldenrod Solidago canadensis
  • Carolina elephants foot Elephantopus carolinianus
  • Common Blackberry Rubus allegheniencis
  • Grass-leaf Golden Aster Pityopsis gramminifolia
  • Greater Tickseed Coreposis major
  • Goldenrod, White Solidago bicolor
  • Goldenrod, Wrinkleleaf Solidago rugosa
  • Goldenrod, Early Solidago juncea
  • Hairy Sunflower Helianthus hirsutus
  • Hartweg’s Wild Ginger Asarum hartwegii
  • Highbush Blueberry Varrinium corymbosum
  • Hoary Mountain Mint Pycnanthemum incanum
  • Longleaf summer bluet Houstonia longifolia
  • Northern Dewberry Rubus flagellaris
  • Northern Seaoats Chasmanthium latifolium
  • Pale Indian Plantain Arnoglossum atriplicifolium
  • Poke Milkweed Asclepias exaltata
  • Rattlesnake Weed Pilosella venosa
  • Smooth carrionflower Smilax herbacea
  • Joe Pye Weed Eutrochium purpureum
  • White Snakeroot Ageratina altissima
  • White Turtlehead Chelone glabra
  • Whorled milkweed Asclepias verticillata
  • Yellow False Foxglove Aureolaria virginica


  • Buckthorn, Carolina Frangula caroliniana
  • Dogwood, Flowering Cornus florida
  • Gum, Black Nyssa sylvatica
  • Hickory, Shagbark Carya ovata
  • Hickory, Pignut Carya glabra
  • Hickory, Bitternut Carya cordiformis
  • Holly, American Ilex opaca
  • Locust, Bristly Robinia hispida
  • Locust, Black Robinia pseudoacacia
  • Laurel, Mountain Kalmia latifolia
  • Maple, Red Acer rubrum
  • Oak, Northern Quercus rubra
  • Oak, Chestnut Quercus montana
  • Oak, Black Quercus velutina
  • Oak, White Quercus alba
  • Oak, Swamp White Quercus bicolor
  • Oak, Blackjack Quercus marilandica
  • Persimmon, Common Diespyros virginiana
  • Pine, Virginia Pinus virginiana
  • Poplar, Poplar Lirodendron tulipifera
  • Sassafras, Common Sassafras albidum
  • Sourwood, Common Oxydendrum arboreum


  • Muscadine Vitis rotundifolia
  • Roundleaf Greenbrier Smilax rotundifolia
  • Summer Grape Vitis aestivalis
  • St. Andrews Cross Hypericum hypericoides

Special thanks to Janie Marlow and her “Name That Plant” database at:

For more information on Paris Mountain:

Trail Map Source: