BRISTOL — The Slim Baker Foundation for Outdoor Education, Inc. has begun the initial phase of designing a self-guided interpretive nature trail on the property. In preparation, several of the organization's trustees and executive director walked the property with Jim Frohn, Grafton County Extension forester. Frohn who has served the county for many years shared his view of the area, explaining that the forested and craggy property of Little Round Top is rich with species diversity.

Along the beginning of the hike, Frohn noted that the rich white pine forest gives way to low bush blueberry and oak ecosystem. Upon reaching the summit and with closer inspection of the rocky top, old char indicators point to a fiery history at some point in time. Frohn explained that typically oak sprouts well after a fire. Descending to the Shelter, Frohn pointed out the smaller, yet older trees growing along the rocky ridge, explaining that while small in size, it's typical of these older trees to grow much slower due to a lack of nutrients and shading. Once beyond the Shelter, the elevation flattens into a bench area, where the nutrient gathering creates a richer soil for taller trees.

From almost forgotten pasture lines of long abandoned rock walls, to standing dead trees, the Slim Baker Area has a diverse ecosystem and historical relevance to share with those who walk its trails. The creation of an interpretive trail will provide a robust educational opportunity for the Newfound Community and beyond. As the organization works to keep the legacy and history of Slim Baker alive for current and future generations, the story of the land is an important chapter for stewardship and conservation.

The Slim Baker Area is 135-acre tract of conserved land on Little Round Top Mountain in Bristol, set up in 1953 as a memorial to Everett “Slim” Baker, a dedicated and much-loved local conservation officer with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Slim dreamed of setting up a “school for outdoor living” in the Newfound Lake area, and the Slim Baker Area is the fulfillment of that dream. The Slim Baker Area is maintained by the Slim Baker Foundation, and open year-round for hiking, snowshoeing, and camping. For more information, to make facilities reservations, or make a donation to the foundation, please go to www.slimbaker.org.

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