North Field Trail

At the end of field, enter the woods at the lavender post.

A Classic Piedmont Virginia Forest

At the end of the field, you will enter a beautiful stretch of mature forest, highlighting several species of oaks and hickories with an understory of dogwood, sassafras, and redbud. This mature forest is relatively free of the non-native plants common in other parts of the natural area.

The oak-hickory forest has historically been the predominant community in the forests of the Piedmont. However, today many of our mature forests are becoming heavily populated with beech and maple, due in part to the suppression of forest fires. These fire-prone species can outpace the oaks and hickories in the deep shade of a closed forest canopy. In former days, this advantage would have been offset by their propensity to succumb to fire because they have very thin bark. Other factors altering the composition of our Virginia forest are the impact of severe weather events that allow sunlight into the deep forest, climate change, and variations and changes in soil composition.

This little stretch of woods is another step back in time to the historic Virginia landscape.

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