The Garrett Family Preserve at Cape Island Creek is home to over four miles of scenic trails, where visitors can enjoy amenities including a picnic pavilion, bird blind and artists’ easels.
What to See
The Conservancy has planted native shrubs, fruit-bearing tree islands and wildflowers, and maintains the formerly overgrown fields in an early successional state which maximizes the benefits for wildlife, especially native and migratory birds.
- Check out the tall trees at the fields’ edges—they provide hunting perches for raptors like the Red-Tailed Hawk, Cooper's Hawk and Great Horned Owl.
- The Yellow-Rumped Warbler and Eastern Meadowlark are just two of the species that make use of the native, berry-producing trees and shrubs, like black cherry, hackberry and flowering dogwood.
- Bird species such as the American Woodcock and American Goldfinch use the preserve's fields and meadow habitat for feeding, camouflage, singing and nesting.
- The salt marsh habitat attracts wading birds and raptors such as Osprey and Northern Harriers that need a steady diet of fish and other aquatic invertebrates.
Native pollinators, such as bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, rely on the pollinator-friendly flowers and grasses planted here at the preserve.
- Look for common milkweed, wild bergamot, showy goldenrod, purple coneflower, giant sunflower and mistflower.
The salt marsh at Cape Island Creek is ever-changing, as water flows in and out during the daily tidal cycles. The frequency and level of tidal flooding divides the salt marsh into three distinct zones each with different plants and animals: high marsh, low marsh, and mudflat.
- High Marsh: Watch where you step around the marsh—busy Fiddler Crabs could be underfoot! These active crustaceans scurry from their upland burrows to muddy areas to feed on microorganisms that live on the outside of sand grains.
- Low Marsh: This habitat is partially flooded with salt water except during low tides, and its protected shallows are a haven for young fish, crabs and shrimp.
- Mudflat and Tidal Creeks: In the area where the mudflat meets the lowland, Ribbed Mussels attach to each other and to the base of the grasses. They help to stabilize the marsh and filter water. Shorebirds like Sandpipers will gather on the mudflat to probe below its surface for food like worms and small clams.
- Open dawn to dusk.
- Bicyclers, please yield to walkers.
- No motor vehicles allowed.
- Please carry out what you carry in.
Download a trail map here.