Visiting New Hampshire's Biodiversity


Mt. Eisenhower: Diapensia Shrubland & Alpine Tundra System



Description:
The open summit of Mt. Eisenhower is a great example of an exemplary diapensia shrubland, a common and diagnostic community of the larger alpine tundra system here and in the rest of the Presidential Range. Here, the dominant plant species is the low-growing and cushion-like diapensia (Diapensia lapponica). Other common species include mountain cranberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) and three-toothed cinquefoil (Potentilla tridentata). Several rare species can also be observed here, including the inconspicuous but nevertheless appealing mountain firmoss (Huperzia appalachiana). A small but also exemplary alpine/subalpine bog system occurs about 0.25 miles north of the summit of Mt. Eisenhower, at Red Pond.


Directions:
From the parking area along Clinton Rd, hike to summit on the Edmands Path. It is 2.9 miles from the parking area to the open crest of the ridge, and another 0.25 miles to the summit.

Landowner: White Mountain National Forest

Images (hold mouse over image for caption)

Diapensia shrubland community in the alpine tundra system at the summit of Mt. Eisenhower (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)
Diapensia shrubland community in the alpine tundra system
at the summit of Mt. Eisenhower (photo by Ben Kimball)

Alpine/subalpine bog system at Red Pond, about a quarter mile north of the summit of Mt. Eisenhower (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)
Alpine/subalpine bog system at Red Pond, about a quarter mile north
of the summit of Mt. Eisenhower (photo by Ben Kimball)

Signpost at trail junction along the Crawford Path north of Mt. Eisenhower (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Lemon-lime colored Juncus trifidus (highland rush) along the trail north of Mt. Eisenhower in September (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Descending through high-elevation spruce-fir forest on the Edmands Path from Mt. Eisenhower (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Vaccinium vitis-idaea (mountain cranberry) on Mt. Eisenhower (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)  Huperzia appalachiana (mountain firmoss), a rare plant along the trail to the summit of Mt. Eisenhower (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Hiking to the summit of Mt. Eisenhower (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)  Mt. Eisenhower from the alpine tundra system to the north (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Hikers descending Mt. Eisenhower (Mts. Franklin and Monroe in distance) (Ben Kimball photo)

Hiking across a talus slope near the top of the Edmands Path (Ben Kimball photo)

Link: www.hikethewhites.com/ike.html

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