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Massachusetts: Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
Posted on Wednesday, August 24 @ 07:23:42 MST by iljiana

Horse Rentals & Day Ride Trails Martha's Vineyard
508 693 2540

Correllus State Forest occupies over 5,100 acres in the center of Martha's Vineyard. It was created in 1908 as the "Heath Hen Reserve," in an attempt to prevent the bird's extinction. Sadly, the last heath hen (an eastern subspecies of the prairie chicken) was seen in 1932. Today it is managed for passive recreation, mostly hiking and cycling on its 15 miles of bike paths. It is also the focus of one of the largest environmental restoration projects in the country. As part of a cooperative effort, the State Forest is now working to bring back the site's native ecosystem.

The Great Plain that forms much of Martha's Vineyard supports an unusual concentration of rare species and extensive examples of several uncommon sand-plain communities, including grasslands, heathlands, barrens, and woodlands, dominated by mixed oak-pine. It was the abundance of woodlands and shrublands that enabled the heath hen to persist here long after they had died out elsewhere in the northeast. Although widespread land clearing began on Martha's Vineyard soon after European settlement in the 17th century, settlement and agriculture were focussed around the perimeter of the island, and the area that is now the state forest remained wooded with forest and scrublands for centuries.

Park Directions
Correllus State Forest is located on Martha's Vineyard in south-eastern Massachusetts.
Vineyard Haven/Edgartown Rd., right on Barnes Rd., park on left.

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