Virtual Nature Trail

Shortcut TrailEmerging from the spicebush 'tunnel' and climbing a short ways you reach the point where the Shortcut Trail merges from the right. This is where you would have come if you had chosen not to walk the steep Ravine Trail down to the stream. If you walk down the Shortcut Trail you will see examples of almost all of the hardwood species present on the Trail. Black cherry, yellow poplar, sugar maple, American beech, red oak and white oak are very visible from the trail path. There are also abundant dogwood trees and a profusion of spicebush, raspberry and grape. 

In 1985 the Shortcut Trail area was a wide-open sun gap formed by the wind throw of a number of the site's older trees. The chaotic diversity of vegetation and the wild growth patterns of their trunks and stems that we see today may be due to the relatively young age of this vegetative ecosystem. The abundant yellow poplars along the Trail here are but several inches in diameter and may be the growing seedlings that first burst into the sun gap when it opened some 15 years ago.

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