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Backpacker Magazine – June 2009

Natural Wonders: Three Treks to Life-List Phenomena

Check out the world's hottest hydrothermal fumarole, Glacier's grizzlies, and a venus flytryp in North Carolina.

by: Jayme Otto

Big Boiler (Thomas Hallstein)
Big Boiler (Thomas Hallstein)
Glacier Grizzly (Kerrick James)
Glacier Grizzly (Kerrick James)
Venus Flytrap (Brian F. Jorg)
Venus Flytrap (Brian F. Jorg)

Green Swamp's Venus Flytraps
Find a monstrous plant in the North Carolina backcountry.

The Wonder The Venus flytrap is known all over the world, but it grows natively in the U.S. only in the Carolinas. The infamous plant demands a moist, sandy, acidic, and nutrient-poor soil–and plenty of flies, all of which exist in abundance in the Green Swamp Preserve outside of Wilmington, North Carolina. The flytrap is a leaf modified into a hinged trap with trigger hairs. When insects engage the hairs, the trap snaps shut. Enzymes digest the prey in three to five days, after which the trap gradually reopens.

The Way The Green Swamp Preserve is 5.5 miles north of Supply on NC 211. Take the Green Swamp Preserve Trail, a three-mile out-and-back. Look for flytraps in moist, sun-dappled areas between the grassy savannah and the dense shrubs. Don't be afraid to get down on your hands and knees, as flytraps stand only inches tall.

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Bill Stansbury
Jul 17, 2009

It is best to do this hike after July 1st. We were there in the middle of June and encountered a great deal of snow on this trail. It is well worth the time and effort. A mini Yellowstone.


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