SECOND CREEK NATURE RESERVE
Richard Grist, 304.645.7674
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Second Creek Nature Reserve WV state map (Foxfire)
Second Creek Nature Reserve VA-WV state map (Foxfire)
- 40 pristine acres established as a private nature reserve
- 1300’ direct frontage on big running Second Creek – a trout stream
- Rich and diverse wildlife population – unrivaled in the region
- 13 acres of hay land & meadows integrated with 27 acres the Woodland Savannah
- Several home sites with stunning long views of distant mountains
- Drilled water well, private septic, underground electric, landline phone, cell coverage, 4G
- 20 minutes to Lewisburg with jet airport, interstate, hospital, shopping, city amenities
- Dark skies offer excellent opportunities for star gazing and astrophotography
- 25 minutes to the world-renowned Greenbrier Resort
- A farm pond provides a water source for livestock and native wildlife
- Dynamic forest with some old growth trees estimated to be 200-300 years old
- Farm and forest roads wind through the property providing superior access
- Wildlife program enhances habitat, increases diversity, and promotes health
- A rewarding permaculture lifestyle can be easily developed
- Surrounded by large farms and timber tracts in a nice rural neighborhood
- Superior access by state maintained paved roads – FedEx, UPS and USPS delivery
- Cell phone coverage is excellent to spotty with 4G service
- Creekside: Frogs, turtles, crawdads, fish, ducks, salamanders, butterflies, dragonflies
- Fur bearing – deer, black bear, squirrel, rabbit, bobcat, raccoon, fox, chipmunk, opossum
- Winged wildlife – eagles, hawks, owls, grouse, ravens, turkey, woodpeckers, songbirds
- Agricultural grasses and the forest produce Oxygen and sequester carbon dioxide
- Trees species include oaks, black walnut, poplar, sycamore, maple and hickories
- Perfect for recreational activities including water sports, ATV riding, horseback riding, hiking, camping, and nature viewing
- Low taxes, low population density
- Nature, scenic, and historic attributes provide exceptional quality of life values
Google Coordinates: 37.667302°(N), -80.445441°(W)
Address: Highland Park Road RT 6/1, Second Creek, WV 24976; No 911 address is assigned to property without structures.
Elevation Range: 1886 ft. to 2157 ft. +/-
SECOND CREEK NATURE RESERVE
The Second Creek Nature Reserve was created some 40 years ago and lives on as a wonderful work in progress. The reserve is managed for the conservation of the values associated with nature; including plants, wildlife, and natural biotic processes. The reserve provides special opportunities for people to connect and engage with nature.
SCNR acts as sanctuary for:
- Plants, including flowers, trees, ferns, vines, grasses, sedges, rushes, cattails, herbs, spores, pollens, nectars
- Lichens, mushrooms, mosses, fungi, mycelium, worts, microbes, algae, cyanobacteria, spores
- Wildlife including, beaver, otters, mink, raccoons, opossums, herons, geese, wood ducks, mallards, minnows, trout, fish, turtles, salamanders, newts, crayfish, muskrats, bull frogs, eagles, hawks, songbirds, woodpeckers, deer, black bear, turkey, coyotes, bobcat, voles, field mice, and rabbits
- Insects and the microscopic world including butterflies, dragonflies, pond skaters, water beetles, damselflies, tadpoles, hellgrammites, insect larve, honeybees, wasps, ants, and beetles
- Natural biotic processes of birth, growth, death, decay
- Geological and archeological features
- Other areas of special interest
- People especially – to engage with nature and develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of the natural world
40+ years of progressive wildlife management practices have created the quintessential nature preserve. Early on, management goals promoted overall wildlife health, developed wildlife viewing areas, increased carrying capacity, and increased species diversity.
Second Creek, and its tributary Laurel Creek, are major contributors to the local ecosystem richness and diversity for both plants and animals. Second Creek and its associated aquatic plant life create a water supported community with a wide variety of wildlife. Some of the margin of the creeks are fringed by lowlands, and these lowlands support the aquatic food web, provide shelter for wildlife, and stabilize the shore of the streams. The plant life associated with the wetland includes rushes, sedges, cattails, duckweed and algae.
There are many animals that live in the water and around the edges of the creek including, trout, beaver, otters, mink, raccoons, opossums, blue herons, Canada geese, wood ducks, mallards, minnows, stocked fish, turtles, salamanders, newts, crayfish, muskrat, bull frogs, eagles, hawks and redwing blackbirds.
There is the insect and microscopic world including butterflies, dragonflies, pond skaters, water beetles, damselflies, tadpoles, hellgrammites, and various insect larve.
The property has a mixture of mature hardwood species, white pine forest, and hemlock. The diverse tree species, coupled with the abundant water supply from the creeks and springs, creates the perfect wildlife habitat. The miles of “edge effect” created between the creeks, hollows, ridges, rock outcrops and forest is the textbook habitat benefiting all the resident wildlife. Bald eagles, white tail deer, black bear, wild turkey, squirrel, rabbit, bobcat, raccoon, fox and many species of songbirds, owls and raptors make up the resident wildlife population.
The hardwood forest provides the essential nutrient source and produces tons of hard mast including acorns, hickory nuts, beech nuts and black walnuts. Soft mast includes stag horn sumac, black cherry, tulip poplar seeds, maple seeds, autumn olive berries and blackberries.
RECREATION AT SECOND CREEK NATURE RESERVE
Second Creek Nature Reserve offers unparalleled recreational opportunities. Numerous soft recreational activities are anchored by the 1,300’ of direct frontage on Second Creek.
Nature viewing is first in line of recreational activities. Attentive wildlife management has been geared not to just game animals. Equal consideration has been extended to increasing the numbers and diversity of species including neo-tropical songbirds, butterflies, turtles, frogs, rabbits, chipmunks, dragonflies, owls, hawks.
Complete darkness can be still be found on the majority of the property, thereby affording the opportunity to view the night sky in all its brilliant wonder. Astrophotography would be in step with the unobstructed views of 160 degrees of horizon.
Water-sports enthusiasts will find the steam ideal for: Swimming, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, tubing, snorkeling, paddle boarding and wind-surfing.
Shooting-sports devotees find all the land and privacy needed to enjoy:
- Paintball-Airsoft-Laser tag-Archery tag
- Shotgun sport shooting including Skeet, Trap, and Sporting Clays
- Rifle & Handgun shooting: bullseye, silhouette, western, bench rest, long-range, fast draw
- Archery and Crossbow competition shooting
- Plain ole’ plinking with an old 22 single shot rifle and a few tin cans
Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding and Hiking
SCNR has several internal forest trails that are perfect for experiencing the property from horseback, mountain bike, ATV, or hiking. Trail users can start out at 1886’ down along the creek and wind upwards through the pine and hardwood forest and agricultural fields, ending at 2157’ on the highest ridge. The trails are designed to be on gentle grades and suitable for all ages and health capacities.
FLY FISHING SECOND CREEK, WEST VIRGINIA
Second Creek is a large spring-fed creek and is a tributary of the Greenbrier River. This is a stocked stream known for its large brown trout. Unlike most spring fed creeks, Second Creek has a gravel bottom rather than a silt and sand bottom.
The creek has a good population of aquatic insects, thanks to its high pH. Mayflies, caddisflies and midges are present. There are also plenty of scuds. It has relatively shallow water with several rapids, still water and deeper sections in the pools.
Fly fishing Second Creek is best in the Spring and Summer
Spring provides the best fly fishing opportunities due to the hatches.
The water gets low and can get too warm during the summer.
Fall is a great time to fish Second Creek. Brown trout spawn in the Fall and become easier to catch in the pre-spawn stage.
Fly fishing Second Creek remains good all winter but the water is usually low and very clear.
Second Creek is a supurb fly-fishing stream. It is narrow; only 20 to 50 feet wide, but it gives a very pleasant woody feel winding its way through the valley with the fields and the cows on either side. The best time to fish is late spring once the water stabilizes and the big Browns are laying in the deeper sections of the pools.
The most common crops are medicinal herbs and mushrooms. Other crops that can be produced include shade-loving native ornamentals, moss, fruit, nuts, other food crops, and decorative materials for crafts. These crops are often referred to as special forest products.
Here are some specific examples of crops in each category that are currently being cultivated:
- Medicinal herbs: Ginseng, goldenseal, black cohosh, bloodroot, passionflower, and mayapple
- Mushrooms: Shiitake and oyster mushrooms
- Native ornamentals: Rhododendrons and dogwood
- Moss: Log or sheet moss
- Fruit: Pawpaws, currants, elderberries, and lowbush blueberries
- Nuts: Black walnuts, hazelnuts, hickory nuts, and beechnuts
- Other food crops: Ramps (wild leeks), maple syrup, and honey
- Plants used for decorative purposes, dyes, and crafts: Galax, princess pine, white oak, pussy willow branches in the spring, holly, bittersweet, and bloodroot and ground pine (Lycopodium)
The timber resource is well positioned for value appreciation over the coming decades. With an attractive species mix, adequate stocking levels, and favorable diameter class distribution, the timber amenity represents a strong component of value to the investor.
The SCNR’s forest resource is composed of quality Appalachian hardwoods, white pine and hemlock. This well managed timber resource will provide a great deal of flexibility to the next ownership and can continue to be managed for the benefit of the nature preserve.
The forest’s predominately well-drained upland terrain has led to a resource dominated by hardwood species. Overall, the species composition is highly desirable and favors Appalachian hardwood types, consisting primarily of:
- Black Walnut
- Sugar Maple
- Red Oak Group
- White Oak/Chestnut Oak
- Soft Maple
- A host of associated species (ash, cedar, birch, sourwood, black gum, beech)
There is an excellent component of mature native white pine and eastern hemlock interspersed throughout the hardwood forest.
Forest-wide, stands are fully stocked, providing the next ownership with a great deal of flexibility in shaping their own silvicultural legacy. Stem quality forest-wide can be considered excellent with the forest containing an abundant current and future veneer source.
The property’s timber component has been well managed over the years and consists of timber stands of differing age classes, all managed under exacting silvicultural guidelines. The predominant timber stand contains 40 -140-year-old stems ranging in size of 10”-30” dbh. Portions of this stand are designated as a permanent wildlife savannah and were thinned as wise wildlife/forest management called for.
Diameters are well represented across the forest’s spectrum, with a notable mature size class, as well as abundant pole size timber and growing stock. Several “Heritage Trees” are scattered throughout the forest and field edges. These ancient trees, some 200-300 years old, have withstood the test of time, weathering ice, wind, lightning strikes and fire.
The forest is healthy and there are no signs of pest infestations of Gypsy Moth. The Emerald Ash Borer, which has inundated the entire Northeast US, is present and the Ash component will significantly decline over the next decade. The Eastern Hemlock species is under siege by the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid and the remaining hemlock will significantly decline over the coming decade. There have been no forest fires in recent memory.
The forest floor is home to several types of mushrooms, medicinal plants, wild ginseng, ferns and cool green mosses.
There are a few fruit trees scattered about, some of which were part of the early homestead. Crops of black walnuts and hickory nuts are produced each year from the abundant black walnut and hickory trees scattered about.
Honeybees do well here, and it would be possible to produce maple syrup from the sugar and red maple trees growing on the property.
THE DYNAMIC WETLAND
A very small wetland is in the early stages of development. The wetland is still in its infancy, but will become biologically rich and wildlife diverse, being akin to the world’s largest swamps found in the Florida Everglades and the Amazon River Basin. The small, but mighty wetland works to provide “ecosystem services”—non-monetary benefits like clean water, clean air, carbon sequestration, and nature viewing.
The wetlands will eventually host butterflies, turtles, frogs, crawdads, song birds, salamanders, newts, and a host of other aquatic invertebrates, migratory birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
Wetlands are a very productive part of the environment; more productive of vegetation, in fact, than some agricultural soils. This vegetation serves important purposes. It shelters and feeds many wildlife species that cannot survive elsewhere. Almost 35 percent of all rare and endangered species depend, in some way, on wetlands. More common wetland species provide enjoyment to many by serving educational, research and recreational needs. Waterfowl and many furbearers such as beaver, mink and muskrat provide both consumptive and no consumptive recreation and are dependent on wetlands. Some fringe wetlands provide the food that young fish need to survive. By slowing the flow of water, wetlands help keep banks from eroding and they trap and settle suspended silt before it smothers fish eggs and covers the insects and other animals that fish eat.
Second Creek Nature Reserve is located near Lewisburg, West Virginia. It is beautiful real estate and comes with a great community known for its friendly residents and laid-back lifestyle.
The Greenbrier Valley is richly blessed with a wide array of cultural events that keep life in the valley interesting and satisfying. A year-round live theater, Carnegie Hall (one of four in the USA), fine dining, art galleries and boutiques make up the thriving downtown historic district in Lewisburg.
Lewisburg was named Coolest Small Town in America and is just a 15 minutes’ drive to complete shopping, churches, schools, medical-dental facilities, fine dining, and a modern hospital. The airport, with the longest runway in the state is just 20 minutes away and has daily flights to Chicago and Washington DC.
Lewisburg is also the county seat of Greenbrier County and home to the WV Osteopathic Medical School (600 students) and the New River Community and Technical College. The area is a strong economic generator with a solid workforce employed in county/state government, tourism, hospitality, education, retail, construction, wood products, mining and agriculture.
For the water enthusiast, the Greenbrier River is the last un-tamed river east of the Mississippi and offers a great float/canoe/kayak experience. The fishing for small mouth bass is considered excellent. The Greenbrier River trail is an 86-mile rails to trails system and offers exceptional hiking and biking opportunities along the scenic Greenbrier River.
Within an hour’s drive are located some of the finest recreational facilities in West Virginia. Winterplace Ski Resort, whitewater rafting / fishing on the New River and Gauley River, 2000-acre Bluestone Lake, Pipestem State Park and Resort and the 80,000 acre New River National Gorge National Park. Five other area state parks and state forests offer unlimited hiking, horseback riding, ATV riding and rock-climbing opportunities. Snowshoe Ski Resort is a 2 hour drive through some of the most scenic country on the East Coast. The 12,000 acre Boy Scout High Adventure Camp and home to the US and World Jamboree is an hour fifteen minute drive.
The world-renowned Greenbrier Resort, home of the PGA tour, is just 25 minutes’ drive. Several other area golf courses are available in the area. Rock climbing, ziplining, horseback riding and the 600 + mile long Hatfield-McCoy ATV trail makes for a very active recreation area.
The charming village of Union, which is the Monroe County seat, is less than a 15-minute drive. Banking, healthcare facilities, drugstore, grocery shopping and a great family restaurant are readily available. Some of the friendliest people in West Virginia can be found in Monroe County. Monroe County has a population of about 13,000 residents and does not have a stoplight and has more cattle and sheep than people. There are no fast food restaurants but there is the local restaurant, “Kalico Kitchen”, in downtown Union that is packed each morning for breakfast and then again for lunch.
The Greenbrier County Airport, which has WV’s longest runway, is located just 30 minutes away and has daily flights to Chicago’s O’Har
e and Washington DC-Dulles. An Atlanta flight is to be added soon. The world famous Greenbrier Resort is a 20 minute drive and Snowshoe Ski Resort is about 1 1/2 hours’ drive. Roanoke, Virginia, is 2 hours, DC is 4 hours and Charlotte, North Carolina is 3 hours away.
The Greenbrier resort features an ever-expanding schedule of public events, including PGA golf tournaments, $30 million training facility for various professional football teams and a 2500-seat tennis stadium hosting professional and exhibition matches.
- The property has about 13 acres of flat to gently rolling hay & pastureland (highly productive)
- Recently installed livestock fencing runs portions of the perimeter
- Cross fencing has been installed to facilitate rotational grazing
- A farm pond has been constructed for watering livestock and native wildlife population
- The property has ¼ mile frontage on free flowing Second Creek, a blue line stream that runs year-round.
- A farm pond for watering livestock and resident wildlife.
- Ephemeral and intermittent streams feed to Second Creek during rain events and snow melt.
- A drilled water well and private septic system serving an ideal homesite.
All mineral rights in title convey with the property. A mineral title search could be conducted by a title attorney at the same time when the surface title search is being conducted.
BOUNDARIES AND SURVEY
The property was surveyed by David O. Holz, Professional Surveyor, in November 2018, and the metes and bounds description from that survey is contained in the owner’s deed of record. In addition to the survey, the northern boundary of the property runs with Highland Park Road RT 6/1, the southern boundary runs with Second Creek, and other boundaries are evidence by some old fencing. The property is being sold by the boundary and not by the acre.
Water: Drilled water well onsite
Sewer: Private septic onsite
Internet: May be possible through phone line or satellite or cellphone hotspot
Cellphone Coverage: Good in most places, can be spotty down in the canyon
The property has 3/10 mile of frontage on Highland Park Road RT 6/1. The gravel driveway for the property connects to Highland Park Road within that frontage, providing access to the public road system. Well established and maintained interior trails provide access to nearly every corner of the property.
There is currently no county zoning in Monroe County. All prospective purchasers are encouraged to contact the Monroe County Health Department for answers regarding installation of septic systems and water wells. Further information on county zoning may be answered by contacting the Monroe County Commission.
PROPERTY TYPE/USE SUMMARY
The property has 13 acres +/- of hay & pasture land integrated with the remaining 27 +/- acres, all of which have been developed as a Woodland Savanna containing a herbaceous understory mixed with large timber bordering Second Creek.
(This summary is an estimation of current property use as determined from aerial photography. It is made subject to the estimation of property boundaries and any errors in the interpretation of land use type from the aerial photography utilized.)
DEED AND TAX INFORMATION
Deed Information: DB 295 Pg. 661
Monroe County, West Virginia
Acreage: 40.235 acres +/-
Real Estate Tax ID/Acreage/Taxes:
Monroe County (32), West Virginia
Second Creek District (4)
Tax Map 18 Parcel 31.2; Class 3
2020 Real Estate Taxes: $799
Monroe County School District
Public Elementary School:
Mountain View Elementary School
Public Middle School:
Mountain View Middle School
Public High School:
James Monroe High School
WHAT IS A SAVANNAH?
Forest succession usually progresses through four stages: herbaceous (grass and forbs ), shrub and sapling, pole timber, and mature timber. Savannahs uniquely include both herbaceous and mature forest stages of forest succession. These two successional stages, existing simultaneously on the same acreage, act as a magnet to attract a diversity of wildlife. Savannahs are also unique in that they contribute to increased biodiversity within a regional landscape, adding important habitat diversity and species diversity to a forest ecosystem. Undoubtedly, they add an important recreational advantage, because savannahs make great wildlife viewing areas, attracting everything from butterflies to black bears. Animals raising their young will heavily use savannahs during the late spring and summer months.
THE SECOND CREEK SAVANNAH
The Second Creek Savannah (SCS) represents one of the most unique and productive types of wildlife habitat and is multi-purpose in design.
The SCS is a living, functioning microcosm interacting habitat types on the same acreage. These habitats include critical herbaceous understory essential to productive brood habitat for wild turkeys and ruffed grouse. The mature hardwood mast trees produce important fall and winter foods such as acorns, hickory nuts, walnuts, beechnuts and black cherries. The piled woody debris throughout the savannah and around boundary edges provides excellent cover for small game and nongame wildlife.
In the edges of the SCS, and in the dispersed debris piles, pokeweed and blackberry thickets established naturally. The established grasses provide ideal hiding cover for fawns. Many species of wildlife use the snag and den trees for foraging, foraging perches, singing perches, nesting, escape, cover and courtship displays.
Savannahs represent one of the most unique and productive types of wildlife habitat. They are different from the traditional small herbaceous wildlife clearings. Savannahs are best described as grassy openings or clearings with scattered mature trees, including snags and den trees, surrounded by forest. As a type of wildlife opening, the SCS is maintained by annual or rotational mowing.
Second Creek Savannah Development
SITE SELECTION: The development of the Second Creek Savannah started with selecting the perfect project site. The site offered level ground, slopes less than 10 percent and access to year-round live water. The size of this created wildlife habitat is about 27 acres, and seamlessly integrates with the remaining 13 acres of agricultural land, to form the 50 acre nature preserve.
SITE CREATION: Once a site was selected, the boundary was flagged and residual trees that were to remain were marked. Adequate spacing between trees was maintained. The location of the skid trails for timber removal was then laid out. Once the residual trees were identified, all remaining trees were cut and removed**. Slash from treetops and any other woody ground debris was removed and placed in piles distributed throughout the savannah. All tree stumps were removed to debris piles.
**All harvesting of the trees was conducted by a professional-certified logger adhering to the WV Best Forest Management Practices. All forest products not used in the creation of the savannah were recovered and utilized by area forest products companies.
RESIDUAL TREES: The residual trees left standing were a combination of oaks, hickories, black cherry, American beech, and white pine. The site’s multiple aspects also allowed for additional residual trees to include sugar maple, red maple, ash and yellow poplar.
Snags and den trees (cavity trees) for use by wildlife adds value to savannahs and many were left in the site. The white pines trees were left standing for roosting and nesting sites.
WATER SOURCE: The SCS owes much of it tremendous success to the availability a of a year-round water supply provided by its 1500’ border with Second Creek. Also, a small pond was constructed as a water hole in conjunction with the development of the SCS. These water sources are extremely valuable to the wildlife. Many species use the creek and water hole, including frogs, salamanders, turtles, songbirds, herons, raccoon, wild turkey, black bear and deer.
SEEDING: Next, the soil was prepared for seeding. Appropriate lime and fertilizer application rates were determined with soil tests. Once lime and fertilizer were applied, a mixture of grasses and legumes was seeded and lightly disked. The seed mixtures included both cool season and warm season grasses with some legumes. The seed mixtures included combinations of annual ryegrass, perennial ryegrass, redtop , timothy, orchard grass, birdsfoot trefoil, ladino clover and partridge pea.
A second round of seeding is planned and will include specific species that grow well in savannahs including bush clover, bundle flower, black-eyed Susan, oxeye sunflower, downy sunflower, big bluestem , Indian grass and switch grass.
PLANTINGS: In time, plantings of wildlife fruit trees and shrubs, including apple, crabapple, chinquapin and hawthorn will be established. An acre of 40-year-old pines bordering the SCS are already in place and provides excellent nesting and roost sites.
SECOND CREEK HISTORY
The birthplace of Second Creek is from various crystal clear springs at the base of Peters Mountain. It then travels through nearly 30 miles of Eastern Monroe County and a small portion of Greenbrier County in West Virginia to empty into the wild and untamed Greenbrier River. From there, Greenbrier flows to the New River, which flows to the Kanawha, on to the Ohio, then the Mississippi and terminating in the Gulf of Mexico. It is said that the waters of Second Creek will arrive in the Gulf of Mexico 3 to 4 days after entering the New River.
Second Creek has had a huge impact on the settlers and modern day residents that are located on its body and water shed. It has provided beautiful bottom land, water, shelter, food, power and a travel route along its course. At one time or other it is said that more then twenty mills were located along its length providing grain products, power, wool, lumber and iron. There is no record of how many small farms powered equipment from the generous and ever flowing waters. One of these grist mills is still in operation today and is known as Reed’s Mill, located near the Second Creek Post Office. Also the springs of Second Creek have become a source for commercial water, bottled and sold on the open market, hauled in bulk to fill local cisterns and also piped to the county seat of Union for its residents.
SECOND CREEK – ITS NAME
Most of the original settlers in Eastern Monroe County arrived via the Eastern shore of Virginia then westward through the Blue Ridge Mountains and on into the Allegheny region that is now known as West Virginia.
Their trek took them along the James River to the Jackson River then up through the notch in the mountains just west of Jerry’s Run. These settlers were following what was the Midland Trail and later the James River/Kanawha Turnpike. Dropping down into the new country they first encountered Howard’s Creek which takes them to the Greenbrier River. After leaving the Midland Trail and heading westward, in the general direction of the Seneca Trail, the second major water course they would encounter, either overland or by the river will be, ——well—–Second Creek. One must assume that due to fatigue and stress of the long trek their imagination had fallen by the wayside. So Second Creek it is and will remain.
CARBON SEQUESTION & OXYGEN PRODUCTION
SCNR is a incredible producer of Oxygen and is a tremendous Carbon Sequester. Carbon Sequestration is the act of processing carbon dioxide through sinks and stores and releasing them into the atmosphere as oxygen. With 50 acres, the grasses, plants and trees are sequestering thousands of tons of Carbon Dioxide each year as well as producing thousands of tons of oxygen too. On average, one tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year.
The Second Creek Nature Reserve is nestled between the folded Ridge and Valley Province to the east and the younger Allegheny Plateau to the west. Second Creek flows to the Greenbrier River, which flows 162 miles southwest and empties into the world’s third oldest river, the New River.
The area exhibits a karst topography due to the underlying Greenbrier Limestone. Karst is characterized by numerous caves, sinkholes, fissures, and underground streams. This interesting topography forms in regions of plentiful rainfall where bedrock consists of carbonate-rich rock, such as limestone, gypsum, or dolomite, that is easily dissolved. Mildly acidic rainwater slowly dissolves the soft limestone over millions of years creating geological fascinations like Lost World Caverns and Organ Cave, carved from the Greenbrier Limestone.
The farm has many interesting “riches from the earth” in the form of limestone, agates, fossils, geodes, and curious rock outcrops.
The rich farmland is made fertile by the Greenbrier Limestones, known locally as the “Big Lime”. These limestones were formed from shallow seas some 350 million years ago during the Mississippian geological period. The quarrying of limestone for dimension stone, fill-rock, construction aggregate, riprap, sand, and agricultural lime is an important industry in the area.
Just 30 miles north of the farm you can take a trip through time riding on I-64 from Dawson to the WV/VA boundary showcasing outcrops from the younger Mississippian formations to the older Devonian mountains.
The rich coal fields lying 40 miles to the northwest were formed about 300 million years ago during the Pennsylvanian and Permian periods when the West Virginia area was south of the equator and moving north. Coal, a combustible sedimentary rock, formed when our area was covered with huge, tropical, swampy forests where plants – giant ferns, reeds and mosses – grew. When the plants died, they piled up in swamps. Over time, heat and pressure transformed the buried materials into peat and into various forms of coal. These prehistoric coalfields continue to provide energy and industry to residents of West Virginia, the nation, and the world.
The Droop Sandstone, a very hard, quartz-rich rock originally deposited as sand beaches along an ancient shoreline, is especially prominent in the area. Numerous sheer rock cliff formations are created by the erosion-resistant Droop Sandstone. Locally, the Muddy Creek Mountain quarry produces decorative sandstone from the Droop that is known worldwide for its beauty and durability.
The long stretches of bottomland along Second Creek is well known to be rich in Native American artifacts.
Native American Indians who lived in the River Valleys of the Ohio, Kanawha, Greenbrier and Roanoke, as well as northern Georgia, upper SC and Tennessee where part of the Archaic Period culture. This culture lasted from about 10,000 to 3,000 BP (before present day).
Native American artifact collectors search for, and have found, arrowheads, spear points, tomahawks, tools and toys. Most of the artifacts would be from the Archaic period and can be readily found on any flat areas on the creek that would be one foot higher than the creek’s bank.
The American Native Indians who lived in what is now West Virginia led a Stone Age lifestyle – they only had stone tools and weapons, had never seen a horse and had no knowledge of the wheel.
There are many famous Native American tribes who played a part in the history of the state and whose tribal territories and homelands are located in West Virginia. The names of the tribes included the Cherokee, Iroquois, Manahoac, Meherrin, Monacan, Nottaway, Occaneechi, Saponi and Shawnee.
Other famous Tribes of Eastern Woodlands: Miami, Lenape, Iroquois, Massachusett, Powhatan, Abenaki, Shawnee and Pequot, Fox, Sauk, Wampanoag, Delaware, Huron (Wyandot), Mohawk, Mohican and Menominee.
The way of life and history of West Virginia Indians was dictated by the natural raw materials available to them.
- Way of Life (Lifestyle): Hunter-gatherers, farmers, fishers, trappers
- Types of housing, homes or shelters: Wigwams (aka Birchbark houses)
- Crops: Corn (maize), pumpkin, squash, beans and tobacco
- Trees: Poplars, birches, elms, maples, oaks, pines, fir trees and spruce trees
- Transport: Birchbark canoes
- Clothing: Little clothing in the summer, animal skins (Buckskin) in winter
- Languages: Iroquoian and Algonquian
History Timeline of the Native Indians of West Virginia
10,000 BC: Paleo-Indian Era (Stone Age culture) the earliest human inhabitants of America who lived in caves and were Nomadic hunters of large game including the Great Mammoth and giant bison.
7000 BC: Archaic Period in which people built basic shelters and made stone weapons and stone tools
1000 AD: Woodland Period – homes were established along rivers and trade exchange systems and burial systems were established
1500’s AD: First contact with Europeans – The history and the way of life of West Virginia Indians was profoundly affected by newcomers to the area. The indigenous people had occupied the land thousands of years before the first European explorers arrived. The Europeans brought with them new ideas, customs, religions, weapons, transport (the horse and the wheel), livestock (cattle and sheep) and disease which profoundly affected the history of the Native Indians.
From Ronceverte: 8.6 miles +/- (about 15 minutes)
From the bridge over the Greenbrier River, travel US 219 South for 6.5 miles; turn left onto Second Creek Road RT 219/1; travel Second Creek Road for 1.6 miles; turn left onto Highland Park Road RT 6/1; travel about ½ mile and gravel entrance will be on the right.
From Union: 10.8 miles +/- (about 20 minutes)
From the Courthouse in Union, travel US 219 North for 8.7 miles; turn right onto Second Creek Road RT 219/1; travel Second Creek Road for 1.6 miles; turn left onto Highland Park Road RT 6/1; travel about ½ mile and gravel entrance will be on the right.
- State of West Virginia
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- Wonderful West Virginia Magazine
- WV Department of Natural Resources
- Virginia – Commonwealth of Virginia
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