One of the largest examples of a pitch pine - scrub oak barrens remaining in Pennsylvania. This area, adjacent to State College and PennState University, is characterized by gently rolloing terrain with Karst topography and sandy soils. The site is dominated by second-growth Chinkapin and Chestnut Oak and pitch Pine. The shrub layer is dominated by Scrub Oak, dwarf Chestnut Oak, and blueberry. There are numerous shrub/scrub areas along with old fields and ore pits. There are several wetland areas as well as the main pond (Toftrees Pond), which borders a gold course, forest, and cornfield. An unusual species of diving beetle inhabits some of the water-filled ore pits.

Directions: Rt. 322 W from State College to Scotia Rd. Approx. 5 miles.

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Ornithological Summary

This unique habitat is one of the largest barrens left in Pennsylvania. It harbors
large numbers of Neotropical migrants during spring and fall migration. Thirty-three species of warblers have been observed including Blue-winged, Golden-winged, Tennessee, Orange-crowned, Nashville, Northern Parula, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Cape May, Black-throated Blue, Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, Pine, Palm, Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, Cerulean, Black-and-white, American Redstart, and Worm-eating warblers. Other species include Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Louisiana Waterthrush.

Conservation Issues

This is an area of heavy use by humans for foot travel, biking and hunting. In the past six years, no habitat enhancements have been observed. Long-term research is on-going. Fire suppression is a significant threat to the ecological character of the barrens. Loss of acquatic habitats and pollution of small ponds within the site are also issues. Attempts have been made, with little success, to provide buffer areas between game land and encroaching housing developments.

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