Saturday Field Trips

2019 Saturday Field Trips! 10:00 – 2:00

Saturday we will go afield to see what we can see. With 11 choices of trips, it will be hard to choose. We’re so proud of the guide teams and trips we’ve assembled this year!

Please click on the REGISTER button once you have chosen your trip. Be aware that all trips are limited to 15 people. Some trips will include van transportation, and others will be done by carpool. All trips leave from the Lodge. Guide designations are subject to change. We will make sure you are well taken care of! Lunch is provided.

Mothapalooza 2013, Adams County, Scioto County, Ohio

Saturday lunches will be picked up in the lobby and taken with you on your trip. A group cooler will be provided and you may want to bring a backpack. One bottle of water will be included; please be sure to pack extra water to drink during your hike.

We have included Difficulty Level ratings on all of the trips as well as a description of what you can expect.

As always, do let us know if you have any questions and we will be happy to help! Here are the trip descriptions!

  1. Botanical Bonanza & Shawnee Safari II – SOLD OUT!
    Your Guides: Jason Larson & Derek Hennen
    Difficulty Level – Easy, in and out of vehicles
    Transportation: Carpooling

Join Jason & Derek on a spectacular natural history adventure throughout the Shawnee State Forest! The Shawnee region supports an amazing diversity of plants and wildlife found nowhere else in the state of Ohio! Along the way, we plan to seek out some of the unusual botany found throughout the forest, including an abundance of flowering species, like the rare and miniscule Green Adder’s Mouth Orchid, which will in turn lead us to a fantastic assemblage of insects which feed upon them. Special emphasis will be placed on finding butterflies, moths, caterpillars, dragonflies, damselflies and much more! Anything that flies, slithers, crawls, scurries, swims or sprouts is fair game on this natural history free-for-all, including local specialties like Worm-eating Warbler, Black Kingsnake and Gemmed Satyr! From hilltop overlooks to babbling brooks, these enthusiastic naturalists will take you on a wild ride across Shawnee. A scavenger hunt for July natives doesn’t get any better than this!

2. Caterpillar Crawl – SOLD OUT!
Your Guides: Sam Jaffe, Colleen Sharkey
Difficulty Level – Easy, van stops with short hikes
Meeting Place: Meet at Shawnee Lodge, nearby sites, carpooling

What could be better than hunting larvae in Adams County, at the height of summer, with Sam Jaffe, a caterpillar expert? Adams County has one of the highest diversity of leps anywhere in North America. So, caterpillar hunting is rewarded with many different and interesting species. July is a great time to scour the leaves and branches for all types of caterpillars. And, with Colleen along, you won’t miss any interesting plants that may be in bloom. They will scout out the best sites prior to the trip to determine the current best spots.

3. Shawnee Stunners – SOLD OUT
Your Guides: Amanda Kriner & Kyle Bailey
Difficulty Level – Easy – in and out of vehicles, van stops with short hikes; mostly even terrain. Good for those with limited mobility.
Transportation: Meet at Shawnee Lodge, van transportation provided

This trip will travel to the Edge of Appalachia region, specifically Sandy Springs Cemetery and Lynx Prairie, in an attempt to see some of the rarer crawlers and fliers of southern Ohio. Hopefully this will include many rarely seen insects such as: American Copper butterflies, Velvet Ants, Variegated Fritillary butterflies, Grey Petaltail dragonfly and more. We will also be birding and botanizing where we can along the way! Time and weather permitting, we may also check out a few spots inside Shawnee State Forest for additional cool sights. Our key species will be insects, but everything is fair game for this trip through some of the amazingly diverse habitats that surround Shawnee State Forest!

4. The Butterfly Bus! – SOLD OUT!
Field Trip Leaders: Jim Davidson, Mike Gilligan, Greg Raterman
Difficulty Level – Easy, in and out of vehicles, some walking. Good for those with limited mobility.
Transportation: Meet at Shawnee Lodge, van transportation provided
Those brilliant and beautiful cousins of the moths will be our focus here, and one could argue that the Shawnee area is the best spot in the state to find them. Goodies we could potentially find include: Sachem and Fiery Skipper, Sleepy Orange, Checkered White, Southern Dogface, Gold-banded Skipper, Hoary Edge, Zebra Swallowtail, Juniper Hairstreak, Hayhurst Scallopwing, and White M Hairstreak. And when you’re in the field with these three you can be sure that no facet of nature will remain unexplored.

5. Herps of Shawnee – SOLD OUT!
Your Guides: Craig Biegler and Jenny Richards
Difficulty Level – Difficult; possible slippery conditions, scrambling around on uneven ground and ledges, hiking
Transportation: Meet at Shawnee Lodge. Carpooling; including limited van transportation
This year we will try to focus on salamanders but with at least 66 species of reptiles and amphibians in residence, Shawnee is perfect for “herp hunting.” The landscape is rife with rock ledges and tree falls that make for excellent reptile hunting, and the streams and vernal pools are full of amphibians. Join these two fun and knowledgeable guides on a search for these crawling critters. If we are lucky, we could even encounter the venomous copperhead or an endangered timber rattlesnake, so wear long pants and strong, preferably leather, boots.

6 and 7. Surf and Turf!
Your Guides: Dave McShaffrey, Laura Hughes, John Howard, and Alma Solis
Difficulty Level – Medium – Uneven, wet surfaces
Transportation: Meet at Shawnee Lodge; Carpooling; including limited van transportation. There are no restroom facilities at this destination

These groups will be exploring the beautiful, 80 acre, Kamama Prairie. This property, owned by the Arc of Appalachia, holds alkaline short grass prairies, small woods, ponds, and small clear creeks. It also boasts of 11 species of snakes, 510 species of plants, including 43 species of state-listed plants, 12 species of amphibians, and an astounding 65 species of butterflies.
One group will explore the prairies to look for interesting plants and insects, while the other group explores the ponds and creeks for dragonflies and aquatic invertebrates. Then after lunch the groups will switch.

8. Anything Goes! SOLD OUT!
Your Guides: Jim McCormac & Doug Tallamy
Difficulty Level – Easy, in and out of vehicles, some walking on uneven surfaces
Transportation: Meet at Shawnee Lodge; van transportation provided

Join these two brilliant and enthusiastic naturalists for four hours of field exploration focusing on…everything! Few people know the forests and prairies of this area better than Jim and Doug has a gift for interpreting science for the non-scientist. Count on these two to lead you on a fun and educational romp through nature that you won’t soon forget!

9. Highlights of Shawnee – Insects Edition – SOLD OUT
Field Trip Leaders: Jason Dombroskie, Dave Horn, MaLisa Spring
Difficulty: Easy, van stops with trail walking; good for those with limited mobility.
Transportation: Meet at Shawnee Lodge; Carpooling; including limited van transportation

Shawnee in July is prime season for all things entomological. Join Jason, Dave and MaLisa as you explore Forest Service Road 5. John Howard calls this trail “infamous” for the variety of wildlife possible here. The rare and elusive Golden Banded Skipper and possibly the Early Hairstreak. Striped Hairstreaks, Northern Oak Hairstreaks, and White-M Hairstreaks have also been sighted on this gem of a forest road. There is also a chance here to glimpse a bobcat, black bear or timber rattlesnake for your rare and thrilling animal viewing pleasure.

10. Things that go Bump in the Night (and the Day!)

Field Trip Leaders: Vince Howard & Kim Banks
Difficulty: Moderate; some uneven surfaces, but nothing crazy
Transportation: Carpooling; including limited van transportation

We will explore the Shawnee State Forest with these well-rounded Naturalists with expertise in many areas. Shawnee State Forest in July is teeming with animals, plants and insects so there is something for everyone. This tremendous duo will bring a wealth of information and enthusiasm to this trip.

11. Exploring Porter Tract
Your Guides: Robyn Wright Strauss and Dan Hodges

Difficulty: Easy

Transportation: Meet at Shawnee State Lodge. Carpooling; including limited van transportation.

Experience a slice of the Edge of Appalachia not open to the public on an easy one mile hike along McKee Run. Successional fields, wooded edges and stunning views of the surrounding hills make this a particularly pleasant foray. Common milkweed is found throughout the fields while typical bottomland trees such as buckeye, black walnut and pawpaw grow along the creek. Abundant spicebush rounds out the flora here and allows for a wide variety of insects and birds to be seen and heard from the trail. Investigate the rich biodiversity of the Edge on this hike as we traverse the old Porter farm, creek, woods and fields.