George A. Hamilton Forest
Points of Interest:
- Observe stands of large diameter oaks and hickories.
- Look for cavity nesting wildlife in these mature woods.
Natural Features Description: This area was owned by George A. Hamilton who protected these woods until this land was acquired by the National Park Service in 1937. Between 1937 and 1946 the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration constructed many of the facilities that make up what is today Cuivre River State Park. Along the lower slopes visitors can find a variety of spring wildflowers including Dutchman’s breeches, trout lily and wild ginger. Interestingly, the seeds of wild ginger and Dutchman’s breeches are dispersed by ant species. These seeds have a structure, an elaiosome, that is rich in lipids that attracts the ants to take the seeds to their underground nest. After eating off the elaiosome, the ants discard the uneaten seed in their trash pile. Some of these seeds germinate and in this way the wildflowers are dispersed across the forest floor. Many fascinating plant-animal interactions go on in our forests and woodlands. Abundant down and dead trees provide habitat for a variety of invertebrates and vertebrates including salamanders.
This natural area is within Cuivre River State Park. From the intersection of Highway 47 and Highway 61 in Troy, take Highway 47 east for 3.1 miles. Turn left (north) on Highway 147. The visitor center is two miles down the road. Inquire at the park visitor center for exact directions to the natural area.