Dan Dourson

Wildflowers and Ferns of Red River Gorge and the Greater Red River Basin

The Red River Gorge’s intricate canyon system features an abundance of high sandstone cliffs, rock shelters, waterfalls, and natural bridges, making it one of the world’s top rock climbing destinations. The Gorge, known for its unspoiled scenic beauty and numerous hiking trails, is one of Kentucky’s top natural destinations attracting over 500,000 visitors a year. While books about hiking, climbing, and other recreational activities in the area are readily available, Wildflowers and Ferns of the Red River Gorge is the first book specifically devoted to the biodiversity of the Gorge and its watershed. Authors Dan and Judy Dourson introduce the geology and cultural history of the gorge but focus on the incredible diversity of both common and rare flora of this unique ecosystem. With over 1,000 color images and numerous illustrations covering over 1500 species currently known to exist in the watershed, Wildflowers and Ferns of the Red River Gorge is designed to be accessible to the causal hiker and of use to the seasoned naturalist. Rare and endangered species are highlighted as well as a few other important but often ignored, non-flowering plant groups including green algae, fungi, slime molds, lichens, and mosses. In addition, a small section on flowering woody vines, shrubs, and trees is also included, making the book the most comprehensive natural guide to one of Kentucky’s most popular natural recreational areas. 

Dan Dourson

Dan Dourson is a wildlife biologist who worked with the US Forest Service specializing in nongame management in Red River Gorge. He is the author of ten books, including Wild Yet Tasty: A Guide to Edible Plants in the Red River Gorge; Land Snails of Belize, Central America; and Land Snails of West Virginia.

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