Flat fields, perched ridges, forested slopes, and a valley dam are the dominant landforms of the land at Crouch’s Treasure Lake. The land has a tremendous amount of diversity from a waterfall to various habitats supporting lots of different types of wildlife. In a region that is dominated by rolling to steep hills, this property is blessed with flat land and the ridges that jut out towards the lake as well. This makes available space for agriculture, Dark Wood Farm, and camping near the lake.
As you can see by this topographical map, the property has many ridges and valleys combined with the large flat area north of the clubhouse. Virtually all of the southern hillside is forested in the mixed mesophytic forest type of the Eastern Decidious Forest. This forest stand is much older than the one on the north, estimated tree age at 75-100 years old. Beautiful towering Hickories, Walnuts, and Oaks are intermixed with maples and also sassafras and redbud in the understory. Meanwhile on the northern side, a younger forest shows the influence of past grazing. These hillsides also have hickory and oak but more Wild Black cherry and Osage Orange. The northern side has better access and more camping available while the southern side offers very rustic but incredibly beautiful camping. It is a bit of a hike or a row to get over there but once there you feel truly out in the middle of nowhere. This forest is a truly remarkable creation as the amount of biodiversity in just tree species is astounding. Many from this region don’t realize just how many species one can naturally find at a property like this. Because there is quite a bit of elevation change on the property, many different tree species can be found.
As mentioned earlier the land has easy access on the north side which is very hikeable. An old track lets you wind past the ridges that jut out towards the lake Northeastern Edge. From there you can always leave the trail and walk down the ridges and down to the lake. If you follow the trail all the way to the back of the lake quite often you will spook some waterfowl. The trail follows the shoreline in the back and has a few direct access points to the lake where fishing can be done in the shade and in the shallower waters.
The southern side has some old and new logging trails making it navigable as well. The forest type changes as you go back into the older parts of the forest. We are dedicated to enriching our forests by creatively utilizing the invasives and giving space to our native species. Lots of Paw Paw and spiceberry trees are popping up in the understory now so you may even enjoy some fruit as you hike. As you walk back, you will go up and down a bit, crossing small tributaries of the lake. Also you can walk up into the woods finding a diversity of species as you get out of the valley.
The field behind the bar really is an anomaly. First its flat and if you look at a broader topographic map of the immediate area there is really no flat areas around. Much of the soil on the hillsides are also very poor with heavy clay dominating after the clearing by the settlers washed away the soil that had been built by the forest. However in the field, a rich loam persists thus an organic farm, Dark Wood Farm, was established in 2017 to grow food locally. Some of the flat land is left unmown to encourage wildflowers and a variety of habitat. It is really easy to reach down into the soil where the moles have come up and for all the gardeners in the tristate clay, it really is lovely soil. The flat areas also can support large groups of people which does occur during weddings or holiday parties or reunions.