Barnett's Woods Class II Natural-Scientific State Natural Area

Barnett's Woods is a 40-acre natural area in Montgomery County located approximately 16 miles west of Clarksville on the Western Highland Rim. It was purchased by The Nature Conservancy in 1981 and ownership was transferred to the State of Tennessee in 2005. It is most significant because it supports a population of the federally listed Price's potato bean (Apios priceana) and because federally endangered Indiana bats (Myotis sodalis) have also been known to use Foster Cave (Barnett's Cave) as a temporary roost while moving from breeding to hibernation. The cave is closed to the public.

Barnett's Woods is also noteworthy because it is floristically diverse for its size with 443 vascular plant species present representing 95 plant families. It is a favorite place for Austin Peay State University students and faculty to botanize because of its floristic significance and close proximity to Clarksville.  The creek's many tributaries have dissected the landscape creating rich hollows and slopes resulting in a variety of slope aspects (the direction the slope faces). The many different site conditions associated with the alluvial woodland created by the creek and its tributaries, the rock outcropping and steep vertical slopes create habitat for a rich flora.

A mesic (moist, rich) forest community found here is noteworthy. It is comprised of sugar maple, beech, white ash, tulip poplar, shagbark hickory, pignut hickory, mockernut hickory, black cherry, sycamore, slippery elm, and many oak species. Kentucky coffee-tree (Gymnocladus dioicus), which is uncommon in Tennessee, also grows in this forest community. This rich condition is also why 16 species of ferns and fern allies occur here. Other plants of interest reported from Barnett's Woods include lesser ladies tress (Spiranthes ovalis), Indian-pipe (Monotropa uniflora), and butternut (Juglans cinerea). The butternut tree, sometimes called white walnut, is in serious decline throughout its range because of the butternut canker that is caused by an exotic fungus.

Barnett's Woods is a high quality, species rich, second growth forest that was last cut in the 1950's. The invasive exotic Japanese honeysuckle, which occurs here, poses a serious threat to native vegetation including the Price's potato bean. Illegal off-road-vehicle use and artifact digging also pose a threat to the natural area.

Site Management

Division of Natural Areas, William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower, 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 2nd Floor, Nashville, TN 37243, phone (615) 532-0431.

Public Access

Public access is allowed. No parking and hiking trails are provided at this time.

Directions

From Clarksville proceed approximately 10 miles west of Fort Campbell Blvd. on Dover Road to Highway 79, and turn left on Oakwood Road and then left on Cooper Creek Road. Go approximately one mile. Barnett's Woods is on the left.

Details & Map

  • Map to Barnett's Woods
  • Owned by the State of Tennessee
  • Woodlawn 7.5-minute quadrangle
  • Western Highland Rim Physiographic Province​
  • Designated in 1995