Wildlife Watching Spots:
Nestled at the foot of a bluff and on an active floodplain of Fall Creek, this garden is a centerpiece of Plantations' native plant education program. Like many floodplains, it has rich soils, and a high diversity of native plants, abundant wildflowers, and rare species.
To guide your plant discovery, you will find:
- Labels next to over 200 native plant species.
- Photographs and up-to-date lists of the season's flowering plants at the "Garden Highlights" display near the garden entrance.
Walk the 3/4-mile loop around this man-made lake that is known locally for its diversity of native and naturalized plants. The trail can be accessed from Forest Home Drive at the intersection of Plantations Road or near the Triphammer bridge, as well as via the Sampson Trail to the East of Helen Newman Hall on Cradit Farm Drive on North Campus.
The Morgan-Smith Trail is a historical remnant of old-growth forest that connects the cultivated horticulture collections of the arboretum with one of our nearby natural areas, Park Park. The half-mile trail through old-growth and replanted forests is a great place to see trees that are more than 150 years old. Along the trail, trees of interest include sugar maple, hemlock, tulip, basswood, cucumber magnolia, white pine, white ash, black birch, and shagbark hickory. Understory plants include blue cohosh, dame’s rocket, skunk cabbage, jack-in-the-pulpit, red and white trillium, violet, trout lily, mayapple, and wood fern.
Within these ponds are water plants including cattails, water lilies, pickerel weed, yellow flag iris, and bald cypress. The ponds support a well-developed freshwater aquatic ecosystem, which includes reptiles, amphibians, insects, fish and crustaceans–making them great places for pond study.