Cold-water ground-seeps within the lowland forest of yellow birch, black ash and eastern white cedar provide habitat for the largest variety of amphibians and reptiles on the property – 8 species – almost half of the species total. Mature upland forest on the “hogs’ backs” interspersed through the lowlands include mature white oak, black oak, sugar maple, American beech and shagbark hickory. An understory of southern and northern shrubs and flowers combines leatherwood, witch-hazel, round-leaved hepatica and winterberry.
Regionally rare plants in the Hogsback include hemlock parsley and poke milkweed. Amphibians of the Hogsback include blue-spotted and yellow-spotted salamanders. This secluded location provides habitat for nesting great horned owl, ruffed grouse and northern waterthrush. Ground water seeps and mature pine provide continuous water supply and roosting trees through winter for wild turkey.
The vision for the Hogsback is to protect and enhance the biodiversity of this lowland forest, consolidate and extend its upland woods component into nearby marginal cropland. The result will be an intensely rich diversity of flora and fauna connected to central portions of the rare Charitable Research Reserve by corridors of cropland hedgerows.