Visiting New Hampshire's Biodiversity


Odiorne Point State Park



Description:
Visitors to Odiorne will find a sweeping view of the ocean and both sandy and rocky shorelines. A variety of natural communities and systems occur here. Intertidal rocky shore rings much of the shoreline. Maritime cobble beach occurs in a few locations where high berms of cobble and sand are overwashed by storm waves. Small patches of high salt marsh grow in some semi-protected coves along the northern shoreline of the peninsula, and narrow bands of beach grass grassland occur between the beach and the upland forest.

A coastal salt pond marsh, the only remaining example of this community type in NH, is separated from the shoreline by a cobble ridge rising up to 12 Ft. above sea level. Periodic storms breach the ridge and infuse salt water into the marsh, creating brackish conditions. The marsh is dominated by herbaceous plant species that have adapted to brackish marsh conditions. An extensive network of trails wind through the dense vegetation and traverse the park.

The Seacoast Science Center (located in the park) has exhibits relating to the natural and human history of Odiorne and the seacoast area. Other activities in the park include boating, fishing, hiking, biking, nature walks, and cross country skiing.


Directions:
Take I-95 north to exit 5, Portsmouth Traffic Circle. Go 1/4 around the circle to Rte. 1 bypass south to Rte. 1 south. Take a left onto 1A south at the traffic lights at Elwyn Road. Follow Rte. 1A south for several miles and Odiorne State Park will be on the left.

Landowner:
State of NH – DRED, Division of Parks & Recreation

(hold mouse over image for caption)

small patch of high salt marsh community along the rocky shoreline south of Frost Point at Odiorne (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Rosa rugosa (beach rose) bush along the rocky beach (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Rosa rugosa (beach rose) in bloom at Odiorne (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Typha angustifolia (narrow-leaved cattail) in the rare coastal salt pond marsh at Odiorne Point State Park (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) old flowering talk of Verbascum thapsus (common mullein) in the exemplary bayberry - beach plum maritime shrubland community at Odiorne (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Late light at Odiorne Point State Park (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Rocky shorline with small, semi-protected patch of high salt marsh community at Odiorne Point (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

path through Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac) shrubs at Odiorne Point State Park (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) The exemplary coastal salt pond marsh community at Odiorne Point State Park (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Lathyrus japonicus var. maritimus (smooth beach pea) in bloom at Odiorne (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) white-flowered variety of wrinkled rose (beach rose) (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Coastal driftwood at Odiorne Point (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose) in bloom at Odiorne (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

A small strand of beach grass grassland, an uncommon natural community type in New Hampshire (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) A small patch of beach grass grassland between the intertidal beach and the maritime forest at Odiorne Point State Park (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Seacoast Science Center building at Odiorne Point (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Bench along rocky shoreline at Odiorne Point State Park (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

rocky beach at Odiorne Point State Park (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)
rocky beach at Odiorne Point State Park (photo by Ben Kimball)

Odiorne Point State Park site map (click to link to pdf - large file, may take a minute to download)
Odiorne Point State Park site map (click to link to pdf)
(large file, may take a minute to download)

Link: http://nhparks.state.nh.us/explore/state-parks/odiorne-point-state-park.aspx

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