130. Sandy Ridge Trail

The forest is dominated by a tree canopy of loblolly pine, water oak, laurel oak, sweetgum, red maple, and swamp tupelo. There are also scattered specimens of bald cypress and Atlantic white cedar. The prevalent species in the shrub layer include wax myrtle, American holly, blueberry, sweet pepperbush, sweet and bitter gallberry, and fetterbush. Common woody vines are greenbrier, grape, poison ivy, Virginia creeper, and cross vine. The ground layer has river cane, netted and Virginia chain fern, royal fern, ebony spleenwort, and partridgeberry. The loblolly pine provides seed from its pine cones as food for squirrels and songbirds. The numerous dead trunks of pine have cavities in which birds can nest and are full of insects that feed birds. Oaks are scarce on the refuge and their acorns feed black bears, deer, turkey, squirrels, and songbirds. Swamp tupelo, blueberry, greenbrier, grapes, and Virginia creeper all produce fruit that is readily eaten by black bears, squirrels, turkey, and songbirds. Wax myrtle, holly, sweet pepperbush, and poison ivy all have fruit that persists on the plants well into the late winter and early spring when songbirds migrating north consume it.