Welcome to Delaware State University's Woodland Trail, which follows a 1/3-mile-long loop through a beautiful section of deciduous forest. This trail is located in the northern portion of the 76-acre College Woods, which is part of the Delaware estuary watershed. Water drains from this forest into the Fork Branch, a stream which flows through the College Woods, then into Silver Lake, the St. Jones River, Delaware Bay, and, eventually, the Atlantic Ocean.
The College Woods provides habitats for a variety of plant species. The uppermost layer of the forest, or canopy, is dominated by oaks, including white oak (Quercus alba), black oak (Q. velutina), and northern red oak (Q. rubra), mockernut hickory (Carya tomentosa), tulip-tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), American beech (Fagus grandifolia), and wild black cherry (Prunus serotina). Understory species include flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) and American holly (Ilex opaca). The shrub layer contains arrow-wood (Viburnum dentatum) and strawberry-bush (Euonymus americanus), and the herb layer contains New York fern (Thelypteris noveboracensis), crane-fly orchid (Tipularia discolor), May-apple (Podophyllum peltatum), and ground-pine (Lycopodium obscurum). This layering of a forest's vegetation is called stratification. In the swamp around the Fork Branch, red maple (Acer rubrum) is common, along with black gum (Nyssa sylvatica), and sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua).
The College Woods is home to a number of animal species, including whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), eastern grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), box turtle (Terrapene carolina), and Fowler's toad (Bufo fowleri ), as well as birds, snakes, salamanders, and other animals.
Copies of this brochure are available in a waterproof box near the trail entrance. You may also download a copy by selecting the hyperlink on the left entitled, "Woodland Brochure." Enjoy your walk on the woodland trail, and please remember—take only photos, leave only footprints.
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