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About the Sanctuary...
Ellen Hoyt Gillard was born May 9, 1907, and raised here in the Purity Spring Valley. Her parents, Edward and Gertrude Hoyt, owned much of this small valley and managed the Purity Spring Resort. Active in local conservation organizations, and having a great interest in nature and ornithology, Miss Hoyt established Camp Wampineauk for girls on this property in 1934. Hundreds of girls spent their summers on the shore of Purity Lake during the camp's 43 years of existence. Although Ellen went on to become a biology teacher and then a full-time wife and mother, the camp brought her home each summer to the land she loved so dearly.
Ellen's family has erected a granite bench at the place where Ellen held vesper service for the camp -a spot she especially loved. Her ashes are also scattered here. According to her family, "The camp and surrounding land was the love of her life. Her happiest moments were spent sharing with others an appreciation of the fragile balance at work in the ecosystem surrounding the camp. It was her desire that her property be a place for nature to thrive, and that it be shared with others in a respectful way." In 1989, Ellen Hoyt Gillard donated these 168 acres to the Audubon. Society of New Hampshire in her will, naming the sanctuary in memory of her parents.
Walking the trails today, one can see that Ellen's wish for this unique and diverse property is indeed being fulfilled. The Gertrude Keith Hoyt and Edward Eaton Hoyt, Jr. Wildlife Sanctuary is being managed by the Audubon Society of New Hampshire to protect and preserve its natural diversity of flora, fauna, and interesting geological features. Berries and browse attract .several species of mammals, including whitetail deer, moose, black bear, porcupine, and beaver. Birds, from black-throated blue warbler to great blue heron and pileated woodpecker to eastern wood pewee, can be seen here. The carnivorous pitcher plant and the delicate rose pogonia nod in the lowest bog, while majestic white pine and rattlesnake plantain orchid can be found atop the highest esker.
Located in East Madison opposite Purity Spring Resort on the shores of Purity Lake, the Hoyt Sanctuary offers X Km of hiking paths to seek out and explore the wonderful nature of New Hampshire. Wildlife can often be seen during all hours of the day and evening. While the larger animals such as beaver and muskrat are best found in the early morning hours. The family of Loon are sure to entertain when they hatch their young. Beside the wildlife aspects the sanctuary offers some unique natural sites.
“NO BOTTOM” POND...
Purity Spring Valley was born only about 20,000 years ago - carved by the Wisconsonian Glacier during the last Ice Age. At the end of the Ice Age in New England (about 10,000 years ago), the glacier retreated to Canada, leaving profound changes in its wake. The two mile high sheet of ice sculpted whole mountain chains, smoothed hills, scooped out lakes and ponds, filled in valleys, created new river systems and moved vast quantities of soil and rocks to create strange new land formations.
As the glacier slowly retreated from this valley, it left large blocks of ice behind which were then buried in the river sediments washing out from the base of the glacier. These ice blocks melted and left rounded depressions which became kettle-hole lakes. Kettle-holes can be very deep - often 20 to 50 feet - hence the name of this tiny kettle, “No Bottom” Pond.
No Bottom Pond, like most kettle holes, has slowly filled in over the years and become a bog: a stagnant, acidic pool covered with a spongy mat of vegetation creeping out from the center. This floating mat is covered with an unusual assortment of plants which are well adapted to survive the highly acidic and nutrition-poor conditions.
Sphagnum moss is the major plant in the bog and forms most of the bog mat. This moss is highly absorbent - Native Americans dried it and used it for diapers! It was also used for dressing wounds in World War I. On top of the mat grow refugees from the Arctic - heaths such as bog laurel, labrador tea and cotton grass, all of which came south with the glaciers and stayed behind. Carnivorous plants, the round-leaved sundew and pitcher plant, get their nutrients from the insects they consume, while water loving trees such as black spruce and red maple sprout whenever the mat is thick enough. Uncommon this far north, the Virginia Chain Fern also grows here in profusion.
Please enjoy the view from the trail and do not try to walk onto the bog, as bog vegetation is fragile and easily damaged. Help preserve this important habitat.
Finding the Hoyt Sanctuary...
From junction of Rte 25 & 153 in Effingham Falls, go north (Towards Conway) on Rte 153 for 5.3 miles to the junction with Horseleg Hill Road. The Sanctuary is on the southeast corner of Purity Lake. Parking and trail head are at the sign.
The Hoyt Family and Tri Tek Events would like to invite you and your family to join us for the 12th Annual King Pine Tri & Duathlon held at Purity Spring Resort. Race Day will feature events for the entire family. Purity Spring Resort is located on Rt. 153 in Madison, NH.