Barnes Woods Nature Preserve
The 23-acre oak-pine forest is bounded on two sides by tidal creeks and swamp floodplain. This mature, undisturbed woodland is one of the few places in the county never cultivated, thereby preserving a rich biological and archaeological record. Part of the trail goes through a floodplain and swamp along a tributary of the Nanticoke River where signs of beaver can be seen and wood ducks flourish. The preserve has not been logged in this century. Documentary research suggests that the property may have been set aside as a wood lot by the beginning of the nineteenth century. William Neal stipulated in his will, dated March 4,1834 that his wife was not to permit additional clearing on the property to be inherited by his minor daughter. The land included in the Barnes Woods Nature Preserve was part of this property. The open, upland area of Barnes Woods is an oak-pine mix, typical of vegetation connected with the loamy, sandy soils in this part of Delaware. Among the canopy tree species are white oak, southern red oak, American beech, loblolly pine, and mockernut hickory. The understory includes flowering dogwood, sassafras and American holly.