Wild Cow Parsnip

Questions about trails and campsites on the island.

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Wild Cow Parsnip

Post by johnhens »

Somone posted about Wild Cow Parsnip on the trail between Feldtmann and Siskiwit. If you brush against it and are exposed to the sun you will get blisters/burns from the phototoxins in the sap. If you rbush up against it, wash off with soap and water. Also around Windigo.
https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/105388.h ... mJTibm1Ogc
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Re: Wild Cow Parsnip

Post by thesneakymonkey »

Yea that was me that posted it. Was everywhere on the feltdmann loop and areas around Windigo (including all the walkways in and out of camp/store/visitor center/docks). Nasty stuff.
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Re: Wild Cow Parsnip

Post by johnhens »

thesneakymonkey wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 6:45 pm Yea that was me that posted it. Was everywhere on the feltdmann loop and areas around Windigo (including all the walkways in and out of camp/store/visitor center/docks). Nasty stuff.
Thanks, called Tecnu about use for cow parsnip, have not heard back.
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Re: Wild Cow Parsnip

Post by Bobcat1 »

Can you get sap on you from just brushing through intact plants? Curious how a hiker would avoid exposure and how to get it off of clothing when backpacking along the trails mentioned.
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Re: Wild Cow Parsnip

Post by johnhens »

Bobcat1 wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 7:26 pm Can you get sap on you from just brushing through intact plants? Curious how a hiker would avoid exposure and how to get it off of clothing when backpacking along the trails mentioned.
I have experience with Wild Parsnip from doing prairie restoration. Nasty stuff. I was removing it (shovel) and must have got some of the "juice" on my shirt (long sleeve T), I changed to a short sleeve for the later work, and my arms blistered once I was in the sun. Nasty burns that were a problem for a while. I would avoid the cow parsnip at all costs!! If you rub up against it with your clothes, you would have to wash them with soap and water.
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Re: Wild Cow Parsnip

Post by thesneakymonkey »

we didn't get a chance to wash our clothes until we hit windigo a couple days later but we washed everything we were wearing that day. We also took a nice swim in superior the day we were really exposed. I brought our small microfiber cloth into the lake and "scrubbed" my arms off (as I was not wearing long sleeves) - without soap. While on the trail, we made a conscious effort to avoid the plant (knowing what it was). I was hiking ahead of my husband and making an solid effort to push the ones that overhung the trail out of the way with my trekking pole until we both crossed. I am positive we touched at least a couple but never experienced a rash. The whole next day was brilliant sunshine so if we had it, we would've known. Best course of action is to do your absolute best to just avoid it. Highly recommend the trekking pole technique haha, it slows ya down a bit but it worked for us.
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Re: Wild Cow Parsnip

Post by MOKVIEW »

Heading out in a few days for 2nd trip to island. Going with my son and 2 12 year grandsons. We were planning to do the fleldtmann loop but am questioning that in light of problems with cow parsnip. Is the whole loop bad or primarily the section between fleldtmann lake and siskiwit lake because the trail is overgrown.
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Re: Wild Cow Parsnip

Post by hooky »

johnhens wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 7:03 pm
thesneakymonkey wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 6:45 pm Yea that was me that posted it. Was everywhere on the feltdmann loop and areas around Windigo (including all the walkways in and out of camp/store/visitor center/docks). Nasty stuff.
Thanks, called Tecnu about use for cow parsnip, have not heard back.
My guess is you'll get an answer similar to this one in their FAQ regarding Virginia Creeper.

"Virginia creeper has oxylate crystals in the sap that cause a rash and sometimes blisters in people who are sensitive to it. Although Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser has not been tested specifically to remove Virginia creeper, it is a multi-use cleanser that may remove the sap from your skin. Be sure to consult a medical professional for advice on how to treat the symptoms of the rash."

They do talk about using the product for exposure to other plants, including Cow Parsnip here. https://teclabsinc.com/resources/photos ... us-plants/
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Re: Wild Cow Parsnip

Post by thesneakymonkey »

MOKVIEW wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:28 am Heading out in a few days for 2nd trip to island. Going with my son and 2 12 year grandsons. We were planning to do the fleldtmann loop but am questioning that in light of problems with cow parsnip. Is the whole loop bad or primarily the section between fleldtmann lake and siskiwit lake because the trail is overgrown.
We mostly saw it in the overgrown grassy areas. It was not in the wooded canopied over areas. Basically all spots that had sunshine. I wouldnt change your route based off this knowledge. Other hikers are reporting it on the east end trails as well. It's also in windigo near all the pathways. You'll likely encounter it no matter which route you take.
Trip #1East side loop: https://youtu.be/xejNOfYWpIQ
Trip#2 Minong End to End : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 9ZJVgtfgga
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Re: Wild Cow Parsnip

Post by MOKVIEW »

Thank you for the information. I had never heard of cow parsnip and will now be able to be prepared.
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