Sugar Camp Hemlocks features a northern mesic forest with a dominant old-growth hemlock component. This natural area can be reached by taking Fire Lane (gravel) and parking along the road. The site abuts a house that is seemingly in the middle of nowhere so take care to avoid trespassing on private property.
Despite our early afternoon arrival, the overcast sky and voluminous hemlock branches conpsired to occlude most of the sunlight from reaching ground-level. Noting the lack of trails, my mother elected to remain on the outskirts of the site, and thus necessitating a shorter than preferred exploration. From what I saw, however, I definitely plan to return in the future. Hemlock forests such as this are one of my favorite natural communities, with variable topography and areas that are certainly wetter than others. The large, exposed roots of the hemlocks provide their own microhabitats, which, while devoid of much excitement at this late October date, will spring to life in, well, spring! This is one of those areas, though, that can unnerve you if you are not sure of where the boundaries are located. The occupants of the nearby house were out and about their yard and probably wondering what a stranger was doing wandering about the swamp. In the future, a GPS in hand will allay those concerns. Here’s to another season for exploration!
More of my photos (and full-res) from Sugar Camp Hemlocks can be viewed here.
|Natural Communities / Geology||Northern Mesic Forest|
|Easy to Find||Yes|
|Best Seen By||Foot|