Cassadaga Creek Wetland Preserve
Cassadaga Creek meanders through the center of the 151-acre Cassadaga Creek Preserve. The floodplains and wetlands on the preserve help ensure that runoff and floodwaters filter slowly through the creek. The Cassadaga Creek Preserve is one of the best CWC preserves for observing wildlife. It is home to beavers, river otters, fisher, mink, deer and other wildlife, and it’s an excellent spot to birdwatch.
Size: 151 acres
Year Conserved by CWC: 1998
Conservation Values: The preserve’s floodplain wetlands allow floodwater from Cassadaga Creek to collect and slowly infiltrate, minimizing erosion and sedimentation downstream. Trees protect and stabilize the bank of the creek. Water is filtered through riparian vegetation, improving water quality in the watershed.
Recreational Use: There are currently no developed trails or other facilities within the preserve, although an abandoned county road bisects the property and makes for quick and easy access to the creek. Primary recreation use consists of deer hunting, and the preserve is ideally situated for canoe and kayak access, as it is located between two canoe launches on the Cassadaga Creek Marden E. Cobb Waterway, upstream on CR 71 and downstream on CR 66.
Location and Parking: Accessible from Bloomer Road (County Rd. 56), half a mile West of county Route 380 in South Stockton. Parts of Bloomer Road are gated off from through traffic due to the deteriorating condition of two bridges. There is a sign near the west entrance of the preserve. The preserve also accessible by light watercraft from Cassadaga Creek.
Features of Interest: Cassadaga Creek flows north to south through the middle of the preserve. Wetlands, meadows, shrubs and three abandoned farm fields interrupt the otherwise forested area.
SPECIES OF INTEREST:
Trees: Black cherry (Prunus serotina), green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), American elm (Ulmus americana), quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides), black willow (Salix nigra), box elder (A. negundo)
Understory: American hornbeam (Carpinus carolinina), hawthorne (Crataegus spp.)
Shrubs: Silky dogwood (Cornus amomum), buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), raspberries (Rubus spp.), staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina)
Ground layer: Thinly vegetated due to dense shading, includes witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), Indian cucumber-root (Medeola virginiana), beechdrops (Epifagus virginiana), common wood-sorrel (Oxalis acetosella), sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis), ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) skunk cabbage (S. foetidus) and sphagnum moss (Sphagnum sp.)
Wildflowers: Goldenrod (Solidago spp.), blue flag iris (Iris versicolor), swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnate), asters (Aster spp.), turtlehead (Chelone glabra), pink lady’s slipper (Cypripedium acaule), Turk’s cap lily (Lilium superbum), cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), square-stem monkey flower (Mimulus ringens), water purslane (Ludwigia palustris)
Mammals: North American beaver (Castor canadensis), river otter (Lontra canadensis), muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus), fisher (Martes pennanti), mink (Neovison vison)
Birds: Spotted sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos), wood duck (Aix sponsa), chestnut-sided warbler (Dendroica pensylvanica), belted kingfisher (Ceryle torquata), veery (Catharus fuscescens), red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus), red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus)
Mussels: 15 species, including rayed bean (Villosa fabalis), clubshell (Pleurobema clava)
Fish: Redfin shiner (Lythrurus umbratilis)