Exploring the Mountain Top Arboretum
There are three areas at the Mountain Top Arboretum to stroll through and visit the plant collections, enjoy the views, and watch wildlife. Each walk will take about 20-35 minutes or more, depending on whether or not you stop to read all the signs , listen to the podcasts and take photographs. A five minute walk down Maude Adams Road, a private road with a slight change in grade, will take you to the East Meadow. It is difficult to push strollers and wheelchairs on most of the paths due to the soft surfaces.
The West Meadow has a variety of collections that feature families of plants that are compatible with the environmental conditions found here. Highlights include a Rain Garden, species conifers and dwarf conifers, a large grass and wildflower meadow, and a “prehistoric” area with exposed Devonian bedrock and Dawn Redwoods. After your stroll, the pond and gazebo are lovely spots to rest and enjoy the surrounding scenery, including an Arts and Crafts era stone church at the top of the hill and water towers and large shingle style summer homes built at the beginning of the last century.
There is much to see, hear and smell in this riparian woodland. Walking along the paths you will find: an array of wildflowers depending on the season, mountain laurel which blooms in late June, expanses of New York fern, and groves of beech and oak. If you head down to the Sunny Wetland you will discover an ideal habitat for moisture loving plants like skunk cabbage, jewelweed, fall asters, meadowsweet, native holly (winterberry), and shadbush.
A short walk down Maude Adams Road will bring you to the East Meadow. Within the deer exclusion fence is the Pine Grove, which will eventually include all native North American pine species that will prove to be hardy here. Planted along with the existing pine trees are cultivated varieties of pines as well as ferns, wildflowers, and deciduous azaleas. Adjacent to the Pine Grove is a small American Chestnut plantation, started in June of 2004. These young trees will grow to pollinate blight-resistant chestnuts with the hope of developing an American Chestnut that is both blight- resistant and well adapted to this region. Flanking this area is the American Hedgerow, a collection of native shrubs that provide wildlife habitat as well as an ornamental planting display. Outside the fenced area is the Fern Trail, containing native trees commonly found in a mountain wetland setting. At the far corner of the East Meadow there is an historic pump house which supplied water to the old estate that included this area, and a wetland boardwalk which will take you across a natural wet meadow filled with ferns, wildflowers and abundant wildlife.
Black Spruce Glen
Coming soon - description. Meanwhile use this link to get to Black Spruce Glen page and map.