Top Navigation

Natural Heritage

Yellow oak (Quercus muehlenbergii), a locally rare tree species, occurs here.


The old-growth forest is located on a highly-dissected, steep east-facing slope, which is probably the remains of a hanging delta. Numerous streams have cut steep-sided valleys into the soft, sandy material of the main slope. One stream has cut all the way to bedrock, to form a small gorge and waterfall. The site is so topographically complex that it gives the impression of being larger than it is.


The upland forest ecological community types include hemlock-northern hardwood forest on steep, north-facing slopes and in ravines, and Appalachian oak-hickory forest on the upper slopes and ridges.  At the base of the slope is a marsh and shrub swamp. The upland forests are extremely heterogeneous and species-rich. Perhaps this because of the topographic complexity, but the high inherent soil fertility of the site may also be a factor. Oddly, the herb layer of the site is generally very sparse.

The upland meadows are dominated by grasses, goldenrods, and shrubs, and was used for agriculture until recently. Old plow lines, stone walls, and larger trees along historic fence and property lines remain evident in the landscape.