Eastern Watershed Tracts of Kanawha State Forest
This tract of approximately 1,350 acres contains the southwestern portion of the headwatershed of Middlelick Branch of Davis Creek and the entire watersheds of Wall Fork and Hoffman Hollow, both tributary to Middlelick Branch. The tract is bounded on the north, east, and south by the Kanawha State Forest (KSF) administrative boundary and on the west by Middle Ridge within KSF. Approximately 65% of this tract is currently covered with secondary old-growth forest, and the remaining 35% will likely meet all secondary old-growth characteristics within two decades. The dominant old-growth trees are 250+ year old white oaks, chestnut oaks, northern red oaks, and yellow poplar, with significant numbers of 150+ yr old black gum, shagbark hickory, pignut hickory, bitternut hickory, and mockernut hickory. Some of the white oaks are likely 300+ yrs old. Some old eastern hemlocks are scattered in the moister coves and riparian areas. Much of that portion of the tract that is not now considered old-growth, was severely damaged by wildfire in the middle 1900's, but is now growing rapidly. There are small stands of a very rare plant association, the Shortleaf Pine-Oak-Heath Association, scattered on the ridgetops of the tract. The tract is the summer home to the threatened northern long-eared bat and the endangered Indiana bat. The northern long-eared bat is known to hibernate in abandoned coal mines within KSF. The increasingly rare cerulean warbler, an old-growth specialist, is very abundant in this tract. Bobcat and black bear also frequent the tract.