Posted by: Sprinterman
N 34° 14.689 W 085° 11.767
16S E 666115 N 3790773
Quick Description: A true treasure in Rome, GA.
Location: Georgia, United States
Date Posted: 4/5/2009 7:42:54 AM
Waymark Code: WM655M
Marshall Forest Preserve
© The Nature Conservancy
Why You Should Visit
Once a part of Cherokee Nation lands, it is one of the few remaining old-growth forests in the Ridge and Valley Province, a geographical corridor that extends from Pennsylvania to Alabama. The forest area ranges in elevation from 600 to 900 feet and supports more than 300 species of plants.
Floyd County, near Rome
How to Prepare for Your Visit
There is a walking trail for the visually impaired, known as the Big Pine Braille Trail. A second trail, the Flower Glen Trail, extends for about a quarter mile. Visitors are welcome.
From Atlanta (allow 1.5 hours)
Take I-75 North to S.R. 20 at Cartersville (Exit 290, about 40 miles.). Take S.R. 20 West to Rome, about 20-25 miles. Stay on S.R. 20 through Rome (watch for turns), past the Floyd County Regional Medical Center. At Horseleg Creek Road (stoplight), turn left. (There's a Schlotzky's Deli on the right.) Travel down Horseleg Creed Road about 2 miles to Marshall Forest Preserve parking lot (at large Preserve sign) on right.
What to See: Plants
Marshall Forest Preserve is home to an unusual combination of both northern and southern tree species. There are three distinct plant communities: pine-oak, chestnut oak, and mixed hardwood forest, containing more than 55 different tree species.
It is surprising that this old-growth forest, having had time to reach a late stage of ecological succession, is not dominated by one plant community. Instead, portions of the site are dominated by an association of pines and hardwoods, which provides ideal conditions for research and study. It is thought that this combination may have been maintained by periodic ice storms (such as the 1993 blizzard) and occasional fires, which provide openings in the hardwood canopy through which the pines grow.
The preserve supports the largest population of the endangered large-flowered skullcap in Georgia. This perennial herb was discovered by Alvin Wentworth Chapman, a physician and botanist who explored the mountains near Rome in the 1870's. The Marshall Forest population has been studied in recent years by scientists and volunteers attempting to gain information on the plant's life history.