Lake Meredith holding “Leaf Peepers” tour

Lake Meredith National Recreation area invites everyone to come celebrate fall with a ranger-led morning hike along the Canadian River. The “Leaf Peepers” tour on the Mullinaw Trail is a four mile hike, but visitors can choose to stop at 2.3 miles. Park rangers will lead visitors on a discovery tour of the area’s plants, animals, geology, and history. The hike also will focus on conservation challenges and plans to restore damaged habitat along the Mullinaw Trail. The Lake Meredith Mullinaw Trail system, which includes three connected trails covering a total of 6.3 miles, is open to visitors year-round for self-guided hikes and horseback riding. Campsites and a horse corral are available near the trailhead. The “Leaf Peepers” tour will begin at 8:30 am on Saturday, Oct. 13.Visitors should wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes and bring plenty of water. Additional suggested gear includes hats, sunscreen, insect repellent, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and binoculars. Hikers who plan to continue for the full four-mile hike should also bring a light snack. After the group assembles, hikers will caravan in their own vehicles to the trailhead, which requires driving several miles on paved and unpaved roads.The trail borders parts of the Canadian River, and walkers could see animal tracks and scat. Other sites of interest along the trail include dramatic geological features such as Permian period “red beds” and dolomite.Also while on the hike, visitors can see views of changing foliage of native trees and plants including cottonwoods, soapberry trees, and lemon sumac bushes, as well as displays of late-blooming flowers such as broom weed, aster, sunflower, and blackfoot daisy. Bring binoculars to check out local and migrating birds, including bald eagles.The hike is free, but anyone interested in participating should call 806-857-3151 to make advance reservations. Hikers should meet at 8:15 am on October 13 at the Alibates Flint Quarries Visitor Contact Station, five miles west of State Highway 136 on Cas Johnson Road.For more information call, 806-857-3151 or 806-857-6680.