Visiting New Hampshire's Biodiversity


Fox Forest, Black Gum Swamp



Description:
Black gum (Nyssa sylvatica) trees, also called black tupelo, are uncommon in New Hampshire, where they are at the northern edge of their North American range. They are the oldest known living hardwoods, and are the oldest trees of any kind in New England (nearly 700 years old in some NH swamps).

Black gum swamps are a rare wetland type in New England. These natural communities, known as black gum - red maple basin swamps, contain the highest concentration of black gum trees in the region. Several black gums can be observed from the Swamp Trail at Fox Forest. Some of the trees here are more than 500 years old.


Directions: On Rte. 202/9, take the exit for Hillsborough and Fox Forest. From the lights in the center of Hillsborough, take Center Road northwest about 2 miles to the parking lot on the right at the headquarters of the Caroline A. Fox Research and Demonstration Forest. The trailhead is just across the street. The Ridge Trail, which is the main footpath around the forest, is marked with red blazes on a white background. The white-blazed Swamp Trail diverges off the Ridge Trail (see map and guide for details).

Landowner: State of New Hampshire - Division of Forests and Lands

Site Guide and Map

Images (hold mouse over image for caption)

Swamp Trail (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Nyssa sylvatica (black gum) 1 (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Nyssa sylvatica (black gum) 2 (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Caroline A. Fox Forest headquarters (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) old stone wall along the trail to the black gum swamp (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Trail signs at Fox Forest (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Start of the Ridge Trail at Fox Forest (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) A large Pinus strobus (white pine) trunka long the trail to the swamp (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

At the edge of the black gum swamp (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) In the exemplary black gum - red maple basin swamp community (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

A variety of amphibians make use of the moist Sphagnum moss carpeting the floor of the swamp (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)
A variety of amphibians make use of the moist Sphagnum moss
carpeting the floor of the swamp (photo by Ben Kimball)

a large black gum tree visible from the Swamp Trail at Fox Forest (photo by Inge Seaboyer)  a large black gum tree visible from the Swamp Trail at Fox Forest (photo by Inge Seaboyer)
a large black gum tree visible from the Swamp Trail at Fox Forest
(photos by Inge Seaboyer)

Site Guide and Map 


link: Caroline A. Fox Research and Demonstration Forest



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