Visiting New Hampshire's Biodiversity


Merrimack River Conservation Area: Floodplain Forest



Description:
Several types of floodplain forest natural communities may be seen along the trail system below the Forest Society's headquarters, including one near the river's edge that is dominated by tall silver maples leaning over the river (this is a portion of an exemplary silver maple - false nettle - sensitive fern floodplain forest that occurs in patches along the banks of this stretch of the river). Other natural communities found here include a hardwood terrace forest dominated by sugar maples, oaks, and hickories, as well as marshes, ponds, and streams.

Important Note (9/19/06)
:
The portion of this trail between the parking area and the footbridge over Mill Creek is now permanently closed to the public. Both the stairs from the Conservation Center and the bridge over Mill Brook have been removed. An alternate way to reach the trails is to park in the same lot and walk around to the west (map is posted on site).

Site Guide and Map

Images (hold mouse over image for caption)

Les Clark Nature Trail in floodplain forest (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Leaning silver maples in the floodplain forest (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Eroding sandy bluff along the Merrimack River in Concord (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) An exemplary silver maple - false nettle - sensitive fern floodplain forest patch along the Merrimack River (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Equisetum hyemale ssp. affine (smooth scouring-rush) covers a seepy slope on the hillside between the bluff and the floodplain (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) watermark bands on silver maples after the 2006 floods (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) The Les Clark Nature Trail (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

rich terrace forest and [former] bridge over Mill Brook (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Eroding sandplain terrace along the Merrimack River (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Backchannel pond adjacent to floodplain (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) At the river's edge on the floodplain (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

a portion of the partially-flooded Marrimack River floodplain in May (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)
a portion of the partially-flooded Marrimack River floodplain in May (photo by Ben Kimball)

Entrance sign for Merrimack River Conservation Area trails (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) high-water mark silt-bleaching caused by the flooded Merrimack River can clearly be seen like a bathtub ring in this unedited picture of an exemplary silver maple - false nettle - sensitive fern floodplain forest (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

silver maple floodplain forest along the Merrimack River in Concord (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)
silver maple floodplain forest along the Merrimack River in Concord (photo by Ben Kimball)


SPNHF trail guide
Site Guide

link: www.spnhf.org/

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