Ferrin Pond Town Forest
Ferrin Pond Conservation Area Trail Guide
Because of the diligence and concern of so many, the Ferrin Pond Conservation Area will always remain an undeveloped
sanctuary where the public can walk, appreciate nature, and learn about the native plants and animals.
Ferrin Pond is a glacier-made pond. Its surrounding area is home to a variety of wildlife.
Ferrin Pond Trail
This 2.6 mile long scenic trail will take you upward along a grand ridge to Perrin Pond.
The trail loops around the pond through portions of the 278 acre Ferrin Pond Forest.
Follow the yellow trail markers, which begin just beyond the boulder gate.
A great force of glacial ice created Ferrin Pond during the Pleistocene Epoch.
This time period spans the last million years, but only within the last 10,000 - 15,000 years did the last ice cheet disappear from this part of the world.
Results of teh gouging and flooding forces from moving mountains of ice (over a mile thick inmuchof the area) can still be seen in many places.
During the Pleistocene Epoch, four glacial stages occurred.
The last event, called the Wisconsin glacial stage, created Ferrin pond.
Ferrin Pond was named after Enos Ferrin, who lived in the area during the mid to late 1700's.
Local records show he served in the Revolutionary War.
The pastures surrounding the pond are believed to be his.
- Do Not Litter
- No Motorized Vehicles on Trail
Numbers correspond to the numbers on the map.
Click on the map for a printable copy of the map.
- American Beech Tree
This strangely shaped beech tree is a classic example of the strength and the will to live that these trees embody.
It is obvious that this tree strugled to find its niche in the forest.
- Enos Ferrin's Old Pasture Wall
Early colonial pastures were defined by stonewalls.
This stonewall may have been built by Mr. Ferrin.
Only recently have trees reclaimed the land. First to grow back were field juniper.
Look for their scraggly, dead branches on the forest floor.
Long-lived white pine and other, hardwood trees are replacing short-lived grey birch trees, the first trees to typically reclaim former pastures.
Imagine: less than 70 years ago, the only tree growing nearby was the giant white pine, just ahead on the right.
- The View From the Bench
Before you is the valley of Ferrin Brook.
Can you hear the voice of the running water?
Notice the fine forest, with its tall, straight trees, and its long grapevines.
Listen for song birds. Sit quietly and watch for animals.
- White Pine Tree with Woodpecker Sign
With a circumference of 145 inches, a section of this grand eastern white pine shows a series of deep cavities - holes drilled by a crow-sized bird called the Pileated Woodpecker.
This powerful bird hacks its way through solid wood to reach its favorite meal of carpenter ants.
Watch for more signs of this bird's drilling along the trail.
You may even hear its loud, unforgettable call.
Although there is much evidence of their existance in the forest, it isnot often that you see these elusive and magnificent birds.
Be alert for the pair living in the surrounding area.
- Ferrin Pond and Beach
The depression carved out by the Wisconsin Glacier is now filled with water.
At the far end of Ferrin Pond, you will see a great boulder dropped there by the glacier.
Such boulders are called erratics. You will discover many such erratics as you walk the trail.
How Deep is Ferrin Pond?
The Weare Town History 1735 - 1888, contains the statement: "The water is 11 feet deep, under which is 17 feet of mud into which a pole can be thrust.
The pond was measured on the ice in April 1887 by Mr. Paige and Eben Bartlett."
One hundred and nine years later, new depth measurements were taken.
Eighteen holes were drilled in the ice down the exact center of the pond.
The average depth was measured at 11.2 feet.
The pond's elevation is 948 feet above sea level, making it the second highest pond in southern New Hampshire.
- Hemlock Forest
Leaving the beach and continuing on the yellow trail, you will enter a forest of hemlock trees.
Notice the sparce undergrowth - very little sunlight passes through the evergreen hemlocks.
Seldom can a young sapling receive enough sunlight to survive under these canopy-like branches.
Hemlocks flourish in the pulverized gravel and soil that the glacier deposited on the pond's eastern bank.
Note that the trail pools up the sloped bank away from the pond.
This feature prevents erosion of the soil into the pond.
- Surviving American Beech Tree
At the top of the slope, you will find a beech tree with an interesting story.
This scarred tree was the unfortunate victim of a hungary beaver and a porcupine.
Can you tell which animal was responsible for which injury?
- Pass-way Stone Wall
In the mid-1700's the town of Weare eas divided into 7 east-west partitions called ranges.
This stone wall separates Range One from Range Two.
Two rods or 32 feet was left on each side of these pass-wys as roads for travel.
This wall is still intact from the Deering line to South Weare village.
- Black Gum Tree, Highbush Blueberry, & Sweet Pepperbush
This black gum tree may be 300 to 400 years old.
At the base, you can see signs of beaver damage from years ago when the pond was home to a family of beavers.
Look for other signs of beaver along the trail.
Another interesting characteristic is the growth of highbush blueberries on the southwest shore and the
sweet pepperbushes on the northwest shore.
Looking across the pond from the black gum tree, you have a better view of the glacial erratic seen from the beach.
At the base of this boulder you can see signs of erosion from ice, wind, and water over the years.
- Stone Bridge and Swamp
Watch your step while crossing the stone bridge and note to your right the open area which is a swamp.
This swamp was once part of Ferrin Pond and is slowly returning to upland forest.
- Pond Lookout
Look into Ferrin Pond's clear water. What do you see? Few aquatic plants grow here.
The few water lilies that grow seldom blossom.
You may see tiny clusters of green leaves growing among the rocks on the bottom.
These send up slender spikes, with a tiny white blossom. They are pipe-worts.
The "green branches" you see is probably a fresh water sponge colony.
- Lightening Tree
This Eastern White Pine was struck by lightening in August 1993.
When lightening stricks a tree, the heat from the bolt immediately vaporizes the sap causing the tree to explode from the inside out.
Notice the piece of trunk stuck horizontally.
- Black Birch & American Beech Forest
This Black Birch tree, with a circumference of 81 inches, is the gateway into a prime example of a mature American Beech forest.
Touch the trees and feel their smooth bark. Watch for beech-nut burrs on the ground.
Look for the pair of tasty nuts, which grow in each of the burrs.
These nuts supply highly nutritious food for black bears, wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, deer, squirrels, and many rodents which
live in this forest.
- Old Porcupine Den
Over the pasture wall, notice the hollow log on your right.
Inside is the former home of porcupines.
Some evidence of their presence is the remains of scat and the musty of its decomposition.
- Ferrin Brook and the Grapevines.
Upon crossing the footbridge over Ferrin Brook, look for the large grapevines.
Most of the grapevines you see are approximately 100 years old or older.
The lifestory of these vines is something of a mystery. Can you guess how they grew to such heights?
Written by Brenda Dello Russo and Jessica Smith
With help from Gordon Russell of the PWA and
Robert Reeve of the Weare Town Forest