Natural History

Natural Communities

waterfallThe biological diversity and the preserve’s beauty is the result of several natural communities.  The cliff communities are the most prevalent.  The dominant sandstone cliffs are south, south west facing in addition to west, north west oriented cliffline. The rock cliffs and shelters are mostly exposed and xeric (dry).  IMG_1244[1]However there are areas defined by moist habitats  as well.  A variety of aquatic macroinvertebrates (insects) can be found within the preserve  providing important information about water quality in addition to being a food source for other organisms.

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The mesophytic forest of the preserve is dominated by deciduous trees, however American Holly, White Pine and Eastern Hemlock can be found also.  The Eastern Hemlock and dense growth of rhododendron can be found in the main reentrants of the preserve.   Many trees within the preserve are over 100 feet tall and 200 years old.  The main reentrants form a wetland at the edge of state route 11, further increasing the diversity of the preserve.  Wildflowers abound within the preserve including several rare, threatened and endangered species.

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Protecting an outstanding natural resource