Did you know that the number of species of ferns in Northeastern and Central United States is limited to about 100? In the Smokies alone 57 ferns and their allies have been identified to date. That's over half!!! So, how about this activity for spending a great day in the Smokies!
The fern forays take advantage of the established trails in the park to identify and quantify all of the ferns and their related Allies observed -- Horsetails, Clubmosses, Spikemosses, and Quillworts. The inventory utilizes 7.5 meter circular plots located approximately every 200 meter along trails and between these plots, other observations such as dominant overstory conditions and flora identification are recorded.
To see some of the results thus far visit our special projects page and look at the various fern forays over the years. They started in 2001.