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Discover the beauty of South Bridget Cove

Migrating shorebirds, gulls, scoters and eagles can be spotted at this natural area park

Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2004

South Bridget Cove is located at Mile 37.4 Glacier Highway. This is one of Juneau's 60 natural area parks that makes our community unique.

In the past, herring spawned each year along the beach in the early spring. Herring still spawn sporadically in the cove and, when they do, the bay is alive with hundreds of gulls, scoters and many eagles. Migrating shorebirds frequently stop in this cove. Songbirds and hooters can be heard frequently.

Some people catch dolly varden from this shore. Sea lions and the occasional bear might also visit. During low tides, it is fun to view the extremely rich intertidal life clinging to the exposed rocks. There are a number of good level camping spots (never build your fire on the tree roots) close to the highway and others farther along the shoreline.

Salmon spawn in the cove stream in the fall. Just across this stream, a short trail leads south along the upper beach to interesting outlooks over Lynn Canal, good picnicking spots and just a nice walk. Getting across the stream might require wading or a walk upstream if the tide is high.

The city's natural area parks along Lynn Canal - stretching from just north of Eagle River to Point Bridget State Park - have a variety of beautiful wild flowers, trees, shrubs, berries and edible plants.

The first rule for collecting and eating wild plants is to be absolutely sure you have correctly identified the plant either from a knowledgeable person or a good plant guide book.

Plants to nibble on or add to green salads: goosetongue plantaago maritima l.; sea lovage ligusticum hultenii; wild cucumber streptopus amplexifolius.

Plants to cook: nettle urica lyallii (wear gloves to harvest - the boiled leaves lose their stinging properties); spreading wood fern (fiddleheads) dryopteris austriaca; seaweed porphyra laciniata.

Berries for jam or jelly: blueberries, currants, salmonberries.

How lucky we are that this is a park instead of a beach front subdivision adorned with no trespass signs.

• Mary Lou King and Pat Harris will lead a native plant and bird walk to South Bridget Cove beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday (May 22). Meet at the turnout at Mile 37.4 South Bridget Cove. For information on other spring walks sponsored by Juneau Audubon Society see http://www.juneau-audubon-society.org.



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