Fernbrook Natural Area
Fernbrook Natural Area is an excellent example of a southern Piedmont forest in varying stages of succession. George and Jacintha Paschal donated the 63-acre tract in 1963 as a land gift and requested that it be preserved in its natural state. For the first time since the original virgin timber was cut, the forest is being allowed to "complete" succession into a mature stand and the woodland is evolving to resemble pre-Colonial forest. It is estimated that the land on the first ridge of the preserve was allowed to return to forest at about the time of the Civil War. The resulting upland hardwoods comprise the approximately 100-year-old secondary growth forest. Upland hardwoods include red oak, yellow poplar, hickory, black gum, red maple, American beech, and other species with scattered shortleaf and Virginia pine. Bottomland hardwoods include sycamore, ash, hackberry, red maple, black walnut and yellow poplar. With a beautiful mix of many species, and gentle trail, this is a forest that can be enjoyed by everyone.