This preserve is a unusually old Eastern Shore woodland of mixed hardwoods and loblolly pines, a seldom seen remnant of the forests that once covered much of the Delmarva Peninsula. Otwell Woodland provides a secure habitat for year-round and migrating birds.
Not timbered since 1900, the eastern half of the preserve harbors an abundance of mature loblolly pines. In the western half there is a handsome growth of large beech, various oaks, hickories, sweet gum, and tulip-trees interspersed with the pines.
The shrub layer is dominated by American holly, amelanchier, flowering dogwood, sassafras, pawpaw, and poison ivy. On the forest floor may-apple, spring beauties, and wood sorrel bloom in the spring.
Along the shore is a small but healthy tidal marsh of cattail and cordgrass. Because of its sheltered location in the cove, the preserve provides good habitat for wintering waterfowl and other birds, such as canvasback, scaup, American widgeon, hooded pergansers, green herons, great blue herons, ospreys, and kingfishers.
94 acres have been protected at Otwell since 1979.