Watershed 6 is 13.23 hectares in area and ranges in elevation from 1800 ft at the weir to 2600 ft at the ridge. The forest is dominated by sugar maple, beech and yellow birch on the lower 90% of the watershed, and by balsam fir, red spruce and paper birch on the upper 10%, especially on the upper northeast side.
Watershed 6 is the "biogeochemical reference" watershed for the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. Unlike some of the other experimental watersheds, the forest here has not been manipulated since it was logged in the early 1900s, and therefore its biology and water chemistry are used as a comparison for the treated watersheds. Because it represents "untouched" 80-year-old second growth forest, human access is limited to maintain its relatively undisturbed condition. However, W6 does have a well-maintained trail and offers an opportunity to experience the northern hardwood forest in its "natural" state. Our virtual tour is based on actual tours occasionally given by the Forest Service to explain a little bit about the northern hardwood forest and the research that goes on at Hubbard Brook.
On the map, the approximate topographic boundary of Watershed 6 is outlined in red, and the black line which snakes its way up through and over the watershed is the walking trail we will follow. It is called the "weasel trail" by some of the old-timers.
[ W6 front page | main HBES homepage ]
Web page created April 2001
by Thomas Siccama and Ellen Denny