Take a walk through Shakerag Hollow, a forested area just off Green’s View that has remained virtually undisturbed by humans and is one of the most popular areas on the Domain of the University of the South for botanists and wildflower enthusiasts. The two-mile walk extends from the University gates on the eastern end of campus to Green’s View. On either end, the trail enters a forest typical of the Cumberland Plateau: the soil on the Plateau, derived from sandstone bedrock, is relatively poor and dry. The forest is of the “mixed oak” or “oak-hickory” type. It is a forest of nut producing trees, and the acorns and hickory nuts attract much wildlife. The understory is well-developed, with sassafras and dogwood trees, along with blueberry and mountain laurel shrubs.
The trail was constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. As it descends into Shakerag Hollow, there is a marked change in species composition: some of the larger trees here include buckeye, basswood, and sugar maple. This is a cove hardwood forest, an area known for its high species diversity. Here, the bedrock is limestone, or calcium carbonate, which is rich in plant nutrients. In addition, the soil on this north-facing slope is more moist than that on top of the plateau.
Sewanee is blessed with beautiful woodlands, and the springtime flora is truly spectacular. The following list includes the trailside flowers that you are likely to come across in Shakerag. It is not an exhaustive checklist on the flora of the area. Picking flowers and digging plants in Shakerag are prohibited. Enjoy the wildflowers in their natural surroundings.