Cardigan / Welton Falls Trip Report   Raymond Caron
  May 11, 2007 04:50 PDT 

I was at Cardigan for Appalachian Mountain Club New Hampshire 
Chapter  Activity Day and was leading a hike in the afternoon. Iíd been 
wanting to hike down to theWelton Falls for a while to measure the 
Hemlocks down there. I went by myself because most folks I hike 
with donít care to stand around while I measure trees. So I hustled 
down the trail and took the following measurements.

The hemlocks are typically tall and skinny meaning they donít appear to
be old-field growth with large side branches. I only measured the
biggest ones I could see from the trail or not far off the trail. There
looks to be plenty of hemlocks with trunks in the 5.0 to 5.5 foot girth
range and growing straight and tall indicating the area has bright
future. The terrain is a stream valley with cutbank stream terraces
some of which collapse into the river. Soils are sandy with glacial
till.

Welton Falls State Park is a small enclave of state park land bordered
on one side by AMC property and private property. I suspect the state
park status prevents it from being logged, but thereís plenty of logging
happening on adjoining private land, so I suppose thereís logging
interests might be looking to purchase logging rights. Hopefully the
proximity to AMC Cardigan Lodge would discourage this.

Eastern Hemlocks Circumference at chest height

1. 8.0
2. 8.5
3. 7.5 (Blowdown)
4. 7.0
5. 7.0
6. 5.0
7. 7.5
8. 7.25

Red Maple - 6.25

The red maple was interesting in that it had grown up cheek to jowl with
a hemlock and looked like it was grafted on to the hemlock. I had to
throw my measuring rope up over my head to through the crotch to take my
measurement.

Yellow Birch Ė 7.75 + 5.0
The yellow birch was a double trunk tree with one of the trunks was
blown down. It was pretty tall. I didnít have the tape or the time to
measure the downed trunk.

Last year I bushwhacked down to this area as part of map & compass
workshop and observed some very impressive hardwood specimen of Beech.
Iíve also observed some very nice but isolated specimens of American Ash
on some of the trails going to summit of Cardigan. They also have nice
straight trunks with no side branches although comparative youth of
surrounding forest indicates they must have been by themselves early in
life.

Ray Caron
Waltham MA