Member Field Trip- Guided Hike at Heald Tract

Forest Society Members Field Trips:

A Living Laboratory: Restoring Apples, Creating Habitat and Controlling Invasive Plants with Forester Gabe Roxby at Heald Tract

The Heald Family donation of nearly 1500 acres between 1986 and 2016 was one of the most generous land gifts in Society history. At Heald Tract, cellar holes, barn foundations, and former orchards are surrounded by mature forest, mountain laurel, beaver dams, vernal pools, a heron rookery and a 65-acre Heald pond linked by an extensive trail system.

From 2019 to 2020, we began a series of ambitious projects to improve wildlife habitat, control invasive bittersweet and release apple trees. Our foresters launched a timber harvest experiment to favor high quality oak timber and invigorate an understory thicket mountain laurel to demonstrate potential for creating New England Cottontail habitat. This summer, tree saplings were cut-back to favor flowers and grasses in an old field, as well as in a former orchard to create a pollinator meadow.

Gabe Roxby poses outside for a photo.Your guide: Gabe Roxby

Gabe began working for the Forest Society in 2012 after graduating from UNH with a M.S. in Natural Resources and a focus in Forestry. He previously worked for the Student Conservation Association building and maintaining trails and educating elementary school students about the joys of science. 

Gabe attained his NH forestry license in 2019 and works with the other foresters on staff to manage the Forest Society’s lands throughout the state. He enjoys learning about the complexity of our forests in New Hampshire and educating anyone who will listen about sustainable forest management.  abe lives in Henniker with his wife Kara and their three daughters.

Forest Society members participate free! Advance registration required by clicking "RSVP" below, as space is limited. Following registration, you will receive confirmation and further details about location, parking, etc.

(Not sure if you are an active member or want to join? Email Tina Ripley at to help. Or, you can renew or purchase a membership online and then come back to this page.)