Carroll Cabin Barrens
CARROLL CABIN BARRENS STATE NATURAL AREA
CLASS II NATURAL - SCIENTIFIC STATE NATURAL AREA
State of Tennessee
West TN Uplands
Barrens is a 200-acre natural area located near the Tennessee
River in Decatur County. It was previously owned by Weyerhaeuser
Company and was designated as a natural area in 2002. The State
received the property from Weyerhaeuser as a donation. Carroll
Cabin Barrens is a series of dramatic Silurian aged limestone
glades and barrens. The glades and barrens are well developed and
occur in longitudinal bands on the hillsides above the Tennessee
River. Little bluestem (Schizachrium scoparium) dominates
the open, gravelly portions of the glades as well as the margins.
Forbs, unique to the glades and barrens complex, grow sporadically
in open glades and congregate around the barren periphery. The
surrounding woods are a mixture of hardwoods of varied ages with
the edges of the glades dominated by stunted eastern red cedars (Juniperus
virginiana). The most common forest is an oak-hickory with
short leaf (Pinus echinata) and Virginia pine (Pinus
Carroll Cabin Barrens is located in the
Western Valley of the Tennessee River, which is recognized by some
experts as a separate physiographic region with a unique flora.
The Silurian glades and barrens are floristically similar to but
lacking the endemism associated with Middle Tennessee glades.
There are several state rare plants considered disjunct from the
Southern Great Plains and Ozarks found at Carroll Cabin that give
an interesting western affinity to the flora. Rare plant species
found at Carroll Cabin Barrens include the state threatened
barrens silky aster (Aster pratensis), hairy fimbristylis (Fimbristylis
puberula), and slender blazing star (Liatris cylindracea),
and state special concern blue sage (Salvia azurea var.
grandiflora). The Silurian limestone outcroppings in the
Western Valley are considered some of the most extensive in the
un-glaciated United States. This glade/barrens complex is
classified as a Western Valley Limestone Hill Barren community and
is considered a globally imperiled community.
There is a joint cooperative
agreement in place between the Decatur County Parks and Recreation
department 190 Civic Lane, Parsons, TN 38363, phone (731) 847-6225
and the Division of Natural Heritage,
Jackson Environment Assistance Center, 362 Carriage House Drive,
Jackson, TN 38305, phone (731) 512-1369. Division of Natural
Heritage, 14th Floor, L&C Tower, 401 Church Street, Nashville, TN
37243-0447, phone (615) 532-0431.
A parking area is provided at
the trail head entrance located at the corner of Smith Gravel Pit
Road and Carroll Cabin Road. Visitors may Hike the two mile trail
to enjoy the scenic beauty of the park. There is an information
Kiosk located at the trail head adjacent to the parking lot to
give visitors an overview of the park and its boundaries.
From Interstate 40, exit at U.S.
Hwy 69/641 (exit #126). Continue south through Parsons (crossing
Hwy 412) and Decaturville (crossing Hwy 100). From the 4-way stop
at Hwy 100, go approximately 11 miles. Turn left on Bob's Landing
Road and continue for about 1.5 miles then turn right on Smith
Gravel Pit Road. The natural area is on the right hand side of the
road after the first curve to the left.