Hobbs Fern Sanctuary: Rich Mesic Forest
Description: This preserve, located in the fertile highlands between the Connecticut and Ammonoosuc Rivers, is a botanical hotspot, containing a variety of tree species, ferns, and spring ephemeral wildflowers. The rich calcareous soils yield a variety of species and forest types that are uncommon in New Hampshire. The sanctuary's owner, the New England Wild Flower Society, has constructed a small trail network in the woods. Many rich site indicator species can be seen right along the loop trail marked as Rte. 5, including northern maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum), bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), squirrel corn (Dicentra canadensis), and spring beauty (Claytonia virginica).
Directions: From Rte. 302 in Lisbon, NH, turn west on Lyman Road just north of the intersection with Rte. 117. Go five miles up Lyman Road from its intersection with Rte. 302. The sanctuary entrance is to the rear of a small house on the right hand side of the road, directly across from Hubbardton Road. The house is white with green trim. There is a screened in porch on the front of the house: on the porch is a sign that says Sunnybank. Park in the grassy driveway of this house. The trails begin to the left of the open garage.
Start walking west on the trail marked as Rte. 1. Pass the junction with Rte. 3 on the right. About 0.3 miles from the house, turn right at the first junction with Rte. 5. This trail loops for about half a mile through a rich mesic forest, travelling first below it, then up and across the top of it.
Driving note: Lyman Road is a very twisty and windy road with many forks – stay on the main road for 5 miles. The road may be rough in places. If you pass the Lyman Town Hall on the left or the Grange Hall on the right you have gone one house too far.
Landowner: New England Wildflower Society (NEWFS)
spring at the Hobbs Fern Sanctuary in Lyman (photo by Ben Kimball)
Left: Bishop's cap (Mitella diphylla) in flower, along with maidenhair fern and squirrel corn leaves.
Right: Scenic view from the top of the ledges along the Rte. 5 trail. (photos by Ben Kimball)
above a rich mesic forest slope at Hobbs Fern Sanctuary in Lyman (photo by Ben Kimball)
Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) and squirrel corn (Dicentra canadensis)
in flower at Hobbs Fern Sanctuary in Lyman (photo by Ben Kimball)
Bloodroot in flower at Hobbs Fern Sanctuary in Lyman (photo by Ben Kimball)
The Sunnybank house at Hobbs Fern Sanctuary in Lyman (photo by Ben Kimball)