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Natural Heritage


On this rich floodplain, wildflowers are abundant, and the older parts of the floodplain forest have rare species in the herb layer, such as spring avens (Geum vernum) and Asa Gray's sedge (Carex grayii). In the deep gravels close to the creek edge, sycamore and cottonwood dominate, while at the base of the slope are wetlands called fens where groundwater emerges in springs and seeps. This area once harbored fringed gentian (Gentianopsis crinita) and other rare plants.

The forest vegetation on the steep slopes above Fall Creek varies with the aspect and rock exposure. Here, along the dry, south-facing slopes, the forest is dominated by oaks, hickories, white ash, and red maple. A dry, exposed bluff at the top of a landslide has many interesting, and some scarce, dry-site oak-woods species, such as the yellow false-foxglove (Aureolaria flava). The northernmost extension of this property - the mature oak woods near the golf course - is a habitat for adults of rare salamander species that breed in Bull Pasture Ponds.


The exposed strata at Flat Rocks are part of the uppermost layer of the Ithaca Formation. These outcrop-pings are highly resistant to erosion and form a nearly level terrace over which the creek flows. The deeper swimming areas mark breaks in this thin resistant layer, where there has been faster erosion of the underlying, weaker, rock. Some interesting and rare fossils have been found here.