New Documentary Explores Mt. Sunapee's Original, Primeval Forest

The Forgotten Forest Primeval - Rediscovering Mt Sunapee's Old Growth now available for viewing

Matt Leahy | October 27, 2022
Lake Solitude in Newbury New Hampshire

A view of Lake Solitude from the Andrew Brook Trail.

The Forest Society has long had a special connection to Mt. Sunapee. The organization first started acquiring land on Mount Sunapee in 1911 to protect the ecologically significant forest communities on the mountain. In the late 1940s, the Forest Society conveyed its ownership of 1100 acres to the State in order to create the state park. (See also Andrew Brook Forest. The 126-acre forest was protected in 2010 and 2016, partially to safeguard access to the eastern side of Mount Sunapee for  hikers, hunters and fishermen.)

The diversity and composition of the forest in this area are what motivated the Forest Society’s conservation efforts there.  However, similar to what occurred in the White Mountains in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the area around Mt. Sunapee also experienced heavy timber harvesting operations during this period.

Given that land-use history, many people were surprised when forest ecologists rediscovered in 1997 the primeval forests on Mt. Sunapee. In this new documentary, filmmaker Ray Asselin recounts the history of this unique place, its significance and the Forest Society’s connection to it.