The visitor center sits at the crest of a hill, and from the parking lot the views of the surrounding Province Lands are impressive: miles of undulating sand dune covered with small forests of pitch pine and scrub oak, bayberry and wild cranberry, poison ivy and beach grass. This harsh landscape is nature’s response to the gradual depletion of the original hardwood forest for settlers’ housing, fuel, and industry; by 1800 most of the original forest of the Outer Cape was gone. When the deeper-rooted trees went, so did the topsoil, ultimately replaced by sand and sandy soil and the tough flora that could thrive in this dry and exposed environment.
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