Heath Brook Exploration Paddle Saturday July 21 8:30 AM

Heath Brook Exploration Paddle    Saturday, July 21 at 8:30.  No rain date.  Leaders:  Carol & Zeke Bly

Meeting Place:  Outside the mouth of the Heath at 8:30

Purpose: To enjoy the beauty of the Heath and to see the land we hope to conserve as well as to learn about milfoil control efforts and the other plants that grow there.

Boat Limit and Requirements: Limited to 20 canoes or kayaks.  All must carry and/or wear life jackets.  Bring sunscreen and water.

An adult must accompany children under 12.  No pets.

Call the Office 603-534-0222 to register.   For more information and in case the weather is iffy, call the Bly’s at 569-5010  (house) or 733-7985 (cell) or email zbly@metrocast.net.

This is a fascinating area. The area is shallow and you can’t go more than a very short way using a motor but those with kayaks and canoes can explore a bit more. You will probably see ducks, perhaps a heron, and other birds that love swampy areas. It is a place to relax in. As you enter the Heath from Lake Wentworth, you are looking to the southeast and Copplecrown Mountain. Here, the open water area is quite wide although it is quite shallow. It is also an area that the Dive Team has taken out quite a bit of milfoil. Motor boats traveling in this area are sometimes the cause of spreading the milfoil as their props cut it up and then it floats around, drops the bottom and then roots. For this reason, motor boats aren’t recommended.

Water levels and/or persistence determine how far up the stream you can go but the first half mile is easy going. With effort, you may be able to get over some beaver dams but the width of the brook and downed trees can make travel very difficult. At one time, two boaters got to about 100 yards from Pleasant Valley Road but it wasn’t easy.

 

Under the right conditions, it is possible to cross country ski through the area in winter. Animal tracks that go from one important place to another are often seen. These are made by otter and mink as well as beaver, coyote and rabbits. Conditions have to be right for skiing in the swampy areas and  have to be frozen enough so you don’t break through to the water. With deep snow, you have more trouble breaking trail and it also means that some places don’t freeze solidly because the snow insulates quite well. Some years, though, the conditions are right and it is a delightful ski trip.

One winter, a beaver house was occupied and the frost feathers on the air vent were quite interesting.

Looking down on the swampy areas, distinct “paths” or “trails” can be seen. The thinking is that these paths are made by deer. They will use the area for food at times of the year when leaves are available in the swamps when they aren’t available elsewhere. These “paths” are a bit wet and would not be places to walk without waders.

The land that hopefully will be protected by the Wentworth Watershed Association is outlined below. It is a beautiful piece of property and has very diverse habitats. It also is a wonderful buffer for nutrients that are coming down the brook so it is very important for the health of Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake. This is a place that is worth saving!