Salomon Family Nature

Salomon Family Nature Preserve

Donated to CWC in memory of Rada Salomon’s family members, this Preserve took almost two decades to conserve. Wing Creek, a tributary of Prendergast Creek, meanders through the property. A wildflower meadow provides pollinator habitat, and the steep ravines along Wing Creek are home to unique and uncommon assemblages of wildflowers.

Size: 51.9 acres

Year Conserved by CWC: 2016

Conservation Values: The preserve’s forests allow rainwater to collect and slowly infiltrate, minimizing erosion and sedimentation downstream.  Trees protect and stabilize the bank of Wing Creek, which ultimately drains into Chautauqua Lake. Water is filtered through riparian vegetation, improving water quality in the watershed.

Recreational Use: A short trail leads from the parking area to a small wooded pond. There are no formal trails on the remainder of the Preserve, although trails are planned in the future. Primary recreation consists of hiking and bird watching. Hunting is permitted, but only temporary deer stands are allowed.  

Location and Parking: Located on Morris Road in the Town of Chautauqua. A pull in parking area is located near the main preserve sign.  

Features of Interest: A blowdown area above the ravine was created in the mid 1980’s. The unstoppable trees didn’t die; they resprouted, creating a “stilted” forest. This is an interesting place to explore, but be careful and work through this section slowly as the fallen trees create a tripping hazard. The ravine along Wing Creek is difficult to traverse, but it is a botanically rich area for those interested in wildflower viewing.  

Species of Interest:

Trees: American basswood (Tilia americana var. americana ), butternut (Juglans cinerea), northern red oak (Quercus rubra), white oak (Quercus alba), American chestnut (Castanea dentate), cucumber magnolia (Magnolia acuminata), black cherry (Prunus serotina), shagbark hickory (Carya ovata), swamp hickory (Carya glabra)

Shrubs: Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), spicebush (Lindera benzoin), common elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), maple-leaved viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium), hobblebush (Viburnum lantanoides)

Wildflowers: Canadian lily of the valley (Maianthemum canadense), Jack in the pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), goldthread (Coptis trifolia), blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), sharp-lobed hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba), false Salomon’s seal (Maianthemum racemosum ssp racemosum), golden ragwort (Packea aurea), crooked stem aster (Symphyotrichum prenanthoides), meadow bottle gentian (Gentiana clausa), beebalm (Monarda didyma)

Birds: Chestnut-sided warbler (Setophaga pensylvanica), veery (Catharus fuscescens), rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)