Things to see and do at this stop:
This is as far downstream as our trail goes. It has always been a favorite overlook for viewing wildlife. Big fish like longnose gars and the alien grass carp often work their way this far up the creek in warm weather and, as the name implies, there are almost always turtles. It is also a classic example of natural stream erosion. A stream's current moves faster at the outside of the curve, removing soil from the high "cut" bank; it moves more slowly and with less energy at the inside, depositing sand there. Since the early eighties we have watched the stream shift northward by an amount greater than its present width as the cut bank has eroded by more than fifteen feet while the sandy point bar on the opposite shore has grown by the same amount.
If trees and other vegetation can become established at the outside of a bend, they may slow or even stop erosion. The small tree below you at the water's edge once grew at the top of the bank. Undercut by erosion, it carried a large "root-ball" of soil with it as it toppled into the creek. Miraculously, it was held upright by a grapevine attached to a large bank-top oak until it became successfully transplanted at the water's edge, largely stabilizing this bank and moving active erosion a few yards farther downstream.
Directions to the next stop: