Four of the seven turtles known to occur in the park
are restricted to the lower and warmer westernmost part of the area;
these are the eastern painted turtle, common map turtle, Troost's
turtle, and musk turtle. The strictly aquatic spiny softshell turtle
inhabits the lower streams along the northern as well as the western
boundaries. The two remaining species have a much greater distribution
within the park, the eastern box turtle ranging up to 4,000 feet, while
the common snapping turtle rarely wanders above
2,500 feet. The former is easily the most common
turtle in an area where permanent ponds and lakes are nonexistent; the
latter, a notoriously savage reptile, is the park's largest turtle.
The eastern box turtle is usually quite active
during and after summer rains. This is the most common turtle in the
park. Courtesy, Isabelle Hunt Conant.