Come on a journey with us as we explore Harvard Forest and all it has to offer through this tour of the French Road Trail.
Instructions: Click on the buttons below the map to navigate to a specific stop.
At each stop, click on the buttons below the descriptions to investigate historical and scientific artifacts.
Then and Now
You are surrounded by historical and scientific sites of Harvard Forest and standing on the land that was once farmland in the late 18th century. Let's explore some of the buildings you see here.
|1 Fisher Meteorological Station|
|2 Raup House|
|3 Fisher House|
|4 Stone Wall|
The trees in Harvard Forest are typical of New England sites that have been reforested after two centuries of colonial agriculture. Let's learn what species have come to dominate Harvard Forest.
|1 Hardwood and Conifer Trees|
There is evidence the ecosystems here were disturbed by a fierce microburst windstorm and by human activity. Researchers are studying the dynamics of disturbed forests and the hungry, hooved animals who like to dine on them.
|1 Snapped and Uprooted Trees|
|2 Former Red Pine Plantation|
|3 Stone Wall|
Colonial Rest Stop
Stand on the French Road and look at the stone foundation of the French Road Inn. If you lived in the 18th century, maybe you would have stopped in the French Road Inn for a drink. If you came by in the 19th century, the house would look more like a farmhouse than a tavern.
|1 French Road Inn Stone Foundation|
|2 Barn Foundation|
|3 Bent Tree|
Dying or dead tres that have not yet fallen are referred to as snags. What do you think created the small round holes you see on the trees?
|2 Private Hiking Trail|
|3 Tagged Trees|
When walking, don't forget to look down once in a while. Forests are home to a variety of plants along the forest floor that like the shade provided by the canopies of the trees.
|1 Forest Floor|
It is common across Massachusetts to see plantations. Look on the right and notice how all of the trunks have forest-grown characteristics and are of the same species.
|1 Red Pine Plantation|
The hemlock is an ecologically important tree, but hemlock forests are being very negatively affected by the hemlock woolly adelgid. Harvard Forest researchers are studying the hemlock's role in atmosphere, water, and organism interactions in the face of its threatened existence.
|1 Hemlock Tree|
Walk on the boardwalk and learn about this mixed swamp forest. Black gum trees, red spruce, hemlock, red maple, and white pine grow overhead. Shrubs like winterberry and highbush blueberry reach your knees. Cinnamon fern, goldthread, and Sphagnum mosses cover the forest floor.
|1 Ferns and Mosses|
|2 Black Gum Swamp|