North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve – hike spring 2018
Created by ancient lava (basalt) flows, the approximately 3,300 acre North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve is an elevated basalt mesa with beautiful vistas of spring wildflowers, waterfalls, lava outcrops, and a rare type of vernal pool, called Northern Basalt Flow Vernal Pools. Typically fissures in the basalt soak up winter rains, forming seasonal streams and waterfalls. In a few places, however, the underlying basalt is impermeable to water forming a temporary pool. Soon to dry up after rains end, only specialized plants and animals adapted to this habitat can survive over time.
Despite the impacts of non-native invasive plant species, range management practices, such as cattle grazing, have contributed to maintaining spectacular wildflower blooms that draw many visitors from near and far to the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve.