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Moss Lake Nature Preserve - Rushford, New York
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Szuchie
N 42° 23.849 W 078° 11.114
17T E 731664 N 4697748
Quick Description: Moss Lake is home to a large collection of carnivorous pitcher plants that live on the peat-moss bog.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 5/27/2008 6:07:51 PM
Waymark Code: WM3WW4
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member TerryDad2
Views: 100

Long Description:
For the preservation of this locality, collection is prohibited.

Moss Lake Bog is a unique and exceptional example of a sphagnum bog invading and filling a small kettle lake. Since this is a private nature preserve - I decided a virtual cache would be the best course of action as it will introduce visitors to this beautiful habitat and have a very minimal impact on its fragile surroundings.

History of Moss Lake Bog Nature Preserve - In 1956 when Moss Lake Bog was threatened by commercial interests wishing to exploit it for its peat, a group of people formed a chapter of The Nature Conservancy to save the area. The chapter purchased a total of 84 acres of which more than 30 acres are open water and quaking bog and in 1973 Moss Lake Bog became a registered natural landmark with the United States Department of the Interior.

About Moss Lake - Bogs such as this one began their life as glaciers retreated from the area. They left depressions, called glacial ponds, which filled with water from melting snow or rain. With no inlet or outflow of fresh water, the ponds then relied on rainwater for replenishment. Due to the low mineral content of melted ice and rainwater, these ponds did not attract the usual microscopic flora such as bacteria and fungi. Instead, the ponds were colonized by sphagnum mosses and heaths such as leatherleaf. The sphagnum moss consumed what minerals existed and excreted acids, producing acidic water. Over long periods of time, the moss built layers upon itself. The compressed moss formed a quaking mat over the water and became peat. Some of the rare species of plants that thrive here include “insect-eaters” such as pitcher plants and sundews. These plants derive nutrients such as nitrates from the insets they trap and digest.

Moss Lake Bog Nature Preserve is a private sanctuary. It is to be protected to maintain its natural condition so that it remains as a natural laboratory for the study and observation of a kettle bog community. Please note that the destruction or removal of plants is forbidden. A hiking trail completely encircles the lake and a boardwalk is located on the east side of the lake and is the only place where visitors should get onto the floating bog mat. For your safety and to prevent the damage to the plants growing in the bog mat, please stay on the boardwalk.

Beginning Your Journey - Start off by parking at the following coordinates:

N 42 24.023
W 078 11.148

These coordinates will take you to a small parking area where you will begin your journey. Since the trail system leads you around the entire lake, making your way to the cache can be approached from either side. If you head south the hike will be roughly .40 one way, while taking the path that begins at the northern side of the lake is roughly .70 (this path actually starts near the road so please hike down the driveway to locate the trailhead).

The cache coordinates will situate you at the end of the boardwalk where you can easily (and safely) view the many pitcher plants that call the floating peat moss their home.
Parking Location: N 42° 24.023 W 078° 11.148

Type of Locality: Wild

Terrain Difficulty:

Species Present:
Pitcher Plants


Sarracenia: yes

Aldrovanda: Not Listed

Byblis: Not Listed

Cephalotus: Not Listed

Darlingtonia: Not Listed

Dionaea: Not Listed

Drosera: Not Listed

Drosophyllum: Not Listed

Genlisea: Not Listed

Heliamphora: Not Listed

Nepenthes: Not Listed

Pinguicula: Not Listed

Triphyophyllum: Not Listed

Utricularia: Not Listed

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