[DNR] Guided Hike at Tribbett's Woods and Wells Woods nature preserves, Jennings County
From May 17, 2014 10:00 am until May 17, 2014 12:00 pm Save to calendar
Posted by William Schrack
Categories: Indiana (IN)
Directions: Meet at Wells Woods Nature Preserve. From the town of Vernon, take S.R. 3 to the Commiskey turnoff (C.R. 850 S). Turn right (west) and go about 0.5 mile to Commiskey and then turn left (south) at the first road past the railroad tracks. Go 0.25 mile and the road will turn sharply to the right. Shortly after you round this curve and before the road curves left (south) again, the preserve will be on your right. Park along road. Hike Leaders: Jason Larson – Southeast Regional Ecologist Paul Carmony – Oak Heritage Conservancy Board Member The Division of Nature Preserves is teaming up with some of our partner organizations and land trusts to hold a series of hikes on nature preserves. The partner for this hike is Oak Heritage Conservancy. Register for the hike using the red registration icon at the top right. Tribbett’s Woods is a fine example of an old-growth southeastern flatwoods, which grow on soils that are often referred to locally as “white clay flats.” These are grayish-white clay soils that are poorly drained and sticky after rains, but hard as brick when dry. This creates growing conditions that are different from those on richer, better drained soils, and results in intriguing tree associations that are common in parts of southeastern Indiana, but basically nonexistent elsewhere. Tree species composition consists of beech, sweet gum, red maple, white oak, and swamp chestnut oak. The giant 150-foot beech and oak trees tower above the lush understory. The serenity of the quiet, near-virgin forest is often interrupted by the songs of numerous birds, and the drilling of woodpeckers. This woods was in the Tribbett family since 1887. As long as could be remembered, only dead or dying trees were removed. Funds from the Indiana Natural Heritage Protection Campaign helped purchase Tribbett’s Woods. Wells Woods is a tract of impressive old-growth forest in southeastern Indiana. The preserve is situated on what is locally called “the white clay flats,” which is level terrain consisting of Cobbsfork silt loam soil. The ground often ponds during the spring months and then dries to the point of cracking during the summer. This has helped Wells Woods develop an unusual species combination. Beech, sweetgum, red maple, black gum, white oak, and swamp chestnut oak are all important components of this preserve. We will meet at Wells Woods nature preserve and carpool to Tribbett’s Woods where there is less parking. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear – rubber boots if possible, these can be a ‘wet’ woods. Bring water, sunscreen, and bug spray. Bring binoculars and a hand lens, if you have them. No restroom facilities.