Spring-fed wetlands along small streams on this Southern Blue Ridge natural area preserve support four species that are rare in Virginia. Northern hardwoods of beech, birch and maple occur on the steeper, north-facing uplands here. While this preserve has a long farming and grazing history, the wetland habitats and rare species they support continue to persist. A combination of factors including hydrology, soil characteristics, and grazing has maintained the wetlands in an open condition dominated by sedges and grasses while limiting the abundance of trees and shrubs. Prior to settlement in this area, other disturbance processes - such as fire or flooding - may have played a role in keeping these streamside wetlandsfree of woody plants. The Chestnut Creek Wetlands Natural Area Preserve was acquired using the voter-approved State Parks and Natural Area bond funds and an endangered species recovery grant from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
This recently acquired preserve has no public access facilities and is currently under an agricultural lease.