Visiting New Hampshire's Biodiversity


Velvet Rocks Ravine: Rich Mesic Forest



Description:
The Velvet Rocks Trail (a segment of the Appalachian Trail) passes through a very small cove of rich mesic forest in this small mountain glen just a few miles east of Dartmouth College. This is an uncommon forest type in the state. Trees such as white ash, basswood, yellow birch, sugar maple, and beech as well as several interesting plant species can be viewed from the trail. This unusual natural community species composition results from mineral enrichment of the soil, likely from underlying calcareous bedrock (most of NH’s bedrock is a more acidic granite).


Directions:
From Rte. 120 in Hanover, park at Chase Field. The AT enters the woods to the east at a trailhead, and it is about 2.5 miles east to the ravine.

Landowner:
White Mountain National Forest

Images (hold mouse over image for caption)

Dryopteris goldiana (Goldie's fern), a rare plant at Velvet Rocks Ravine (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)
Goldie's fern (Dryopteris goldiana), a rare plant at Velvet Rocks Ravine (photo by Ben Kimball)

Geranium robertianum (herb Robert) in flower at Velvet Rocks Ravine (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Dryopteris goldiana (goldie's fern) at Velvet Rocks Ravine (photo by Ben Kimball for NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Trail through rich mesic forest in Velvet Rocks Ravine (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Adiantum pedatum (northern maidenhair fern) (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Actaea pachypoda (white baneberry) (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh) (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Rich mesic forest trees in Velvet Rocks Ravine (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

A wide-leaved Carex sedge species (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Hydrophyllum virginianum (northern waterleaf) (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Geranium robertianum (herb Robert) (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)
herb Robert (Geranium robertianum)

Velvet Rocks ravine map (1:24,000 scale USGS topo quad)

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