Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve, Grady County

Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve is one of the true natural wonders of South Georgia (all of Georgia, really). And about ten years ago, it was almost turned into a real estate development. It’s located just off US Highway 84 near Whigham and there’s no admission charge, though donations are accepted. A new sign at the entrance indicates the bloom time as being between late January and early March, though the lilies seem to almost always bloom in the middle of February. It’s essential to follow the Preserve’s Facebook page to get updates on the bloom time, as they can be quirky and sometimes bloom en masse and at other times be quite sporadic.

Trout Lilies (Erythronium americanum) are primarily an Appalachian species, favoring filtered sunlight on mountain slopes. So how did they end up here? Though there are a few anomalous populations in Southwest Georgia and North Florida, the Wolf Creek population is the largest in the world and thought to have appeared sometime during the last Ice Age.

If you came here and the Trout Lilies weren’t blooming, you’d still love this place. The gentle slope of the riparian forest makes for a good walk. I came this year about a week after the mass bloom and there were still quite a few scattered around the site.

Add to that the beautiful Spotted Trillium (Trillium maculatum) interspersed throughout and you basically have a mountain walk in deepest South Georgia.

The volunteer who greeted us at the entrance was so delightful and informative and we enjoyed talking with her. Grady County should be applauded for recognizing the importance of this resource and sharing it with the public. Instead of waiting for the state to recognize it and all the time that would take, Grady County took it upon themselves to promote and protect it. Highlighting important local resources like this isn’t just a win for the environment but a win for the local economy. We had lunch at a restaurant in Cairo, so yes, there is an economic impact, however small it may be.

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3 Comments

Filed under --GRADY COUNTY GA--, Whigham GA

3 responses to “Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve, Grady County

  1. Mark Helfer

    Hi Brian, I’ve enjoyed all of your latest postings and appreciate the pictures and the history behind them. I especially want to point out the Confederate boat yard, the eclectic homes, and the GA scenery and greenery. You’re doing some nice work.
    Just a note from here in St. Augustine: 15 miles South of here, at what is Bing’s Landing now, is a plaque indicating where the site was that produced all of the salt for the Confederate Army. There are no structures left.
    Another tidbit of history.

  2. Ward Milner

    Great place, Great pictures

  3. Is this new? I have passed by this location endless numbers of times. I wish I had known about it back when I could easily walk and my Dad was alive. We would both have enjoyed this a great deal!

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