126. Sandy Ridge Trail

The most prevalent plant community on the trail is a mixed pine and hardwood forest. There are also small areas of freshwater marsh on the edges of the ditch through the forest and on the shoreline of Milltail Creek. Both communities occur on soils with a 16 to 51-inch thick layer of organic soil over loam subsoil. The importance of the forested area to wildlife is not limited to the tree species. The community is a combination of trees, shrubs, woody vines, and herbaceous plants. The trees provide not only different kinds of fruits and seeds for food, but nesting habitat in their branches and in cavities in their trunks. The shrubs are also a source of food, but their dense branching habit makes excellent nesting and escape cover for ground-nesting birds, and songbirds and small mammals. The woody vines twine in the shrubs and trees to enhance their value as escape cover as well as providing fruit. Most of the flowering shrubs and woody vines provide nectar and pollen for pollinating insects. The herbaceous plants include grasses and wildflowers that grow in the sunny areas along the trail. The both provide seed for wildlife to eat. The wildflowers are also important sources of nectar and pollen for bees and butterflies. Look to the right as you cross the bridge to see a large selection of woody vines including Muscadine grape plants.