Welcome to the Robert and Mary Carver King Nature Preserve
The 161-acre Robert and Mary Carver King Nature Preserve in the Town of Richford, Tioga County, was donated to the Land Trust by Robert and Mary Carver King in December 2001. The Kings had searched long and hard for a piece of land to buy and protect. In 1997, they found just what they had been looking for, in the hills south of the Village of Richford, and have now taken the steps necessary to ensure that it will remain unspoiled and available for wildlife and quiet public recreation. The adjoining 48 acres, with the Kings' cabin on it, is protected with a conservation easement.
The King Preserve is a fine example of the forests and former farms of our region. The southern section slopes down to the north to a beautiful tributary of the East Branch of Owego Creek. The habitats on the south side of the stream range from a small, long-abandoned farm field and young hardwood forest to mature forest dominated by hemlock, birch, white pine and red oak. Especially lovely are the steep, hemlock-clad sides of the ravine.
One large area has the characteristic "pit-and-mound" topography of land that has never been plowed. Nevertheless, this area has seen a good deal of logging, over the years. The forest here is a typical northern hardwood forest, dominated by sugar maple, black birch, beech, white ash, white pine, and hemlock.
The preserve's forests have a well-developed understory of young trees and shrubs, as well as herbaceous plants. This structure is especially attractive to a wide array of bird species, making the preserve an ideal place for an early-morning bird walk.
One portion of these woods appears not to have been logged since
its original clearing. Many large hemlocks and pines shade the forest
floor, and no stumps of cut trees are to be found. We guess that this
portion of the property has been returning to forest since very early
in the 20th century, maybe earlier.
North of the stream, the forest is also remarkably diverse.