Visiting New Hampshire's Biodiversity


Heath Pond Bog: Peatland System



Description: This is an outstanding, classic example of a kettle hole bog system. An open water center is ringed by narrow band of liverwort - horned bladderwort mud-bottom community, which in turn is surrounded by a slightly wider zone of Sphagnum rubellum - small cranberry moss carpet. These concentric zones are all embedded within about 6 acres of an open leatherleaf - sheep laurel dwarf shrub bog natural community. Scattered larch and black spruce trees occur across the surface of the bog system. There is a greater variety of bog plants here than at any other peatland in the state.



Directions:
From Center Ossipee, take Rte. 25 east and park along the roadside (there is a small pullout) just past a granite marker. Starting between boulders blocking an old forest road, take the trail southeast in to the Natural Area, about a quarter mile through a magnificent old pine forest almost to the edge of the peatland. The trail ends at a gravelly peninsula of upland. From here, an unofficial bootleg path ventures towards the pond.

  • Important safety note: The path can become wet close to the pond, and the peat mat is quite loose in places near the edge of the open water, so great care must be taken when venturing away from the upland.


Landowner:
State of NH - DRED

Images (hold mouse over image for caption)

Floating peat mat at Heath Pond Bog (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Dense patch of Sarracenia purpurea (pitcherplant) leaves (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Start of the trail in to Heath Pond Bog (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Orange forestry blazes (not trail markers) along trail in to bog (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Heath Pond Bog through the trees (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Shrub fen at Heath Pond Bog (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Heath Pond Bog Natural Area (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Heath Pond Bog and Rte. 25 from the air in mid-May (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)
Heath Pond Bog and Rte. 25 from the air in mid-May (photo by Ben Kimball)

White pine trees in the adjacent upland forest (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) White pine trees in the adjacent upland forest (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Heath Pond Bog (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Plaque designating Heath Pond Bog as a Natural Area (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)
Plaque designating Heath Pond Bog as a Natural Area
(photo by Ben Kimball)

link to pdf map of site
link to pdf map of site


links:
US National Park Service's National Natural Landmark page for Heath Pond Bog



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