flora & fauna

Part of the great charm of Walnut Creek Preserve comes from the many wooded coves that contain hundreds of native plant species along creek sides and adjacent slopes. The foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountain chain offer a topography and climate that support an astounding variety of plant life. To date more than 500 varieties of plants, including some rare and one endangered species (the White Walnut or Butternut) have been identified in Walnut Creek Preserve. Further botanical research on the land will likely identify other rare species.

Deer, bobcat, grey and red fox, and multiple flocks of turkeys abound throughout the tract. The addition of the horse farm sites, with their inviting forest-pasture interfaces, have created a home for quail, bluebirds, hawks, finches, pileated and downy woodpeckers, hummingbirds and other species of birds, as well as transient migratory birds such as Canadian geese, mergansers and mallards which enjoy the 4 acre lake on their way north or south each year.  The coves and streams provide habitat for salamanders, box turtles, frogs, toads and crayfish, as well as the occasional skunk and snake. The lake is stocked with bass, bluegill and channel catfish.  Nightfall brings out the whippoorwill cry, the hoot of the owl and the quiet swish of the bat pursuing its dinner.

In conjunction with Pacolet Area Conservancy, Walnut Creek Preserve offers regularly scheduled nature programs at the Nature Center inside its gates. Speakers with expertise in various subjects related to the natural environment draw local crowds and, weather permitting, a hike in the forest follows each presentation and offers wonderful opportunities to learn about native plants and animals.