The evergreen forests at RMNA are a pleasant deviation from the dominant deciduous forests. With a canopy co-dominated by eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) and chestnut oak (Quercus montana), and a shrub layer that presents a thicket of mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) this ecosystem is reminiscent of Appalachian or northeast forests. Typically in the Piedmont, when we speak of pine forests, we do so in reference to early to middle successional forests that eventually make way for an oak-hickory blend. In rare cases we find pine-heaths as the mature forest expression. Thus is the case at three locations at RMNA.

This is a simple forest type. The soil conditions are sharply acidic, nutrient-poor, and well-drained, and a bounty of heavy metals further impede plant growth. There were only 23 species documented in this forest type. This may seem like a low number, but this low number is part of what characterizes this unique natural plant community. The upper canopy of this forest is dominated by a mix of white pine (Pinus strobus) and chestnut oak (Quercus montana), with occasional white oak (Quercus alba) and black oak (Quercus velutina) getting in on the action. Filling the middle canopy strata are occurrences of black gum (Nyssa sylvatica), sassafras (Sassafras albidum), dogwood (Cornus florida), witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) and red maple (Acer rubrum). The lower canopy and shrub layers are dominated by heath, including mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), hillside blueberry (Vaccinium pallidum), deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum), and an occasional maleberry (Lyonia ligustrina). The extremely sparse herb layer has only a hand full of species. Slender woodland sedge (Carex digitalis) and ribbed sedge (Carex virescens) occur sparingly, as do christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides) and hay-scented fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula). Striped wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata), Indian cucumber-root (Medeola virginiana), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), winter grape (Vitis vulpina), and naked-flowered tick-trefoil (Hylodesmum nudiflorum) round off the list.