Battenkill State Forest - Cambridge, NY
Access and General Description
Batten Kill State Forest is located in the town of Cambridge, NY, near the Vermont border. We parked off Bates Road (?) and climbed up the east side of Goose Egg Ridge. The beginnings of the hike follow flat lying, hard wood forest comprised of a number of early successional marker species, such as birch. The composition though, did include pine, maple, and oak species as well. Maybe around half way to the site, you encounter an open area with little under story and what seemed to be mainly larger maple. Here we spotted a handful of common understory species. The lack of tree sapling growth can be potentially credited to deer herbivory. While this couldn't be proven by our one visit, it is a likely spot for deer to graze and idle because of the openness. It is also worth noting that there were multiple sightings of bear scat, indicating a strong presence of bear to this particular locality. There was no trail that was followed to get to the site from our access point, so much bush-wacking and slope climbing was done to meet the existing trail and reach the ridge top of the site. The site lies along a section of the Folded Rock/Peak Rock trail.
Soil and Geology
On the way to the ridge we saw a mix of sedimentary quartzite and slate- differing from that seen at Rattlesnake Ridge. Soil pH is around 4.2 to 4.3, very acidic, but with a different parent rock compared to Rattlesnake.
Hardwood species composition is very similar to Rattlesnake Ridge, but with more red maple and no pitch pine. There is a lot of shrubby growth of the Heath family, with sparse herbaceous understory. There is some white pine regeneration among a small number of red oak and striped maple seedlings, but on the whole not a lot of sapling growth considering the canopy openness.
- Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
- Pinus strobus (White pine)
- Amelanchier arborea (Downy serviceberry/Shadbush)