Visiting New Hampshire's Biodiversity


Welch-Dickey Mtns.: Subalpine Peak & Jack Pine Community



Description:
This short but very scenic (and very popular) loop hike takes you through a great variety of natural communities. After ascending a mile or so through mixed hardwood and then conifer forest, you come out into the open and pass through an exemplary jack pine rocky ridge community on Welch Mtn. The fire-sensitive jack pine (Pinus banksiana) trees are at the southern edge of their range and are locally rare, known from only five locations in the state. Smooth sandwort (Minuartia glabra), an uncommon plant in New Hampshire, occurs in profusion on open rocky ledges here, blooming in late June and early July. The openness of these relatively low mountains is likely the result of a very hot wildfire having swept over them in the past, stripping them of vegetation and topsoil.


Directions:
From Campton, take Rte. 49 about 5 miles northeast. Take a left on upper Mad River Rd, cross the bridge over the Mad River, and go about 0.7 miles west. Take a right on Orris Rd and go about 0.5 miles to the parking area on the right. Trail loop (4.5 miles round trip) leaves from the trailhead here.

Landowner:
White Mountain National Forest

Images (hold mouse over image for caption)

Pinus banksiana (jack pine) needles on Welch-Dickey (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)
Jack pine (Pinus banksiana) needles on Welch-Dickey (photo by Ben Kimball)

Vegetation growing in glacial striae (grooves) in the granitic bedrock on Dickey Mtn. (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Along the lower portion of the trail on Dickey Mtn. (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Smooth sandwort on Welch Mtn. in late July (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

This way on Welch-Dickey (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) A tight squeeze on the Welch-Dickey loop (Photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau

Ascending Welch-Dickey in winter (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Welch Mtn. in winter (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Cones of Pinus banksiana (jack pine) on Welch Mtn. (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Sheet runoff after a rainstorm on the steep granite ledges of Welch Mtn. (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Sign at the Welch-Dickey trailhead (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

jack pine rocky ridge community on Welch Mtn. (photo by Ben Kimball)
jack pine rocky ridge
community
on Welch Mtn. (photo by Ben Kimball)


jack pine rocky ridge community on Welch Mtn. (photo by Ben Kimball)
jack pine rocky ridge community on Welch Mtn. (photo by Ben Kimball)

jack pine rocky ridge community on Welch Mtn. (photo by Ben Kimball)
jack pine rocky ridge community on Welch Mtn.
(photo by Ben Kimball)

Welch-Dickey map (USGS topo quad)

Link: www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/white_mountain/recreation/hiking/welch_dickey.pdf

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