New Hampshire Wildlife Management Areas
Kearsarge Wildlife Management Area
Acquisition History: Land to create this WMA was purchased with funds provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program. Private land donations also contributed.
Description: This WMA is located at the northern base of Mount Kearsarge, a 2,937-foot-tall mountain that dominates western Merrimack and eastern Sullivan counties. In lower elevations, the property consists of mixed hardwoods and softwoods, but changes to predominantly hardwoods and then to stunted spruce as the land climbs in elevation. The WMA is adjacent to the 4,965-acre Mount Kearsarge State Forest, a popular park for hiking, picnicking, hawk-watching and other outdoor activities.
Timber harvesting took place in 2000. Trees that were heavily damaged during the 1998 ice storm were removed to regenerate early successional forest stands and establish herbaceous wildlife openings to diversify the existing habitat. A Wildlife Habitat Improvement Project (WHIP) has also been completed to regenerate speckled alder and aspen.
Common Wildlife: The WMA has a variety of habitat types, and therefore a diversity of species. Bear, white-tailed deer, moose, turkey, ruffed grouse, woodcock, snowshoe hare and other upland species abound. There are several beaver flowages, which provide habitat for mink, muskrats and waterfowl including wood ducks, mallards and black ducks.
Special Notes: Kearsarge WMA abuts the 4,965-acre Kearsarge Mountain State Forest to the south and west, creating over 6,000 acres of contiguous protected wildlife habitat. The now bare peak of Mt. Kearsarge is visible from some vantage points. The granite peak was wreathed by large white pine until fire destroyed all the vegetation in 1796, allowing erosion to take the soil from the steep slopes.
Directions: From Route 11 west of Andover, take Cilleyville Rd to Kearsarge Mountain Road to Leadmine Road and proceed straight ahead for two miles. The WMA is on both sides of the road, which ends at the Andover-Salisbury town line.
DeLorme N.H. Atlas and Gazetteer coordinates: Page 34/35, I 7/8