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Sunapee Uplands

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About the Sunapee Uplands

The Sunapee Uplands is a small region located entirely in New Hampshire.

This region is a rolling plateau with hills and monadnocks throughout, with numerous natural ponds and lakes, as well as artificial reservoirs. The bedrock is a mix of igneous and metamorphic rocks, and the region is covered mostly with sandy glacial till, with some sandy-loamy till. The region has a humid continental climate with high precipitation.

Original forest cover here was a mix of northern hardwood and transitional hardwood-coniferous forests, with some lowland spruce-fir forest. Northern hardwood forests featured American beech, yellow birch, and sugar maple as dominant trees, with some red maple, white ash, and American basswood. Drier sites featured northern red oak and eastern white pine. Some sites also featured red oak-sugar maple forest, with northern red oak, sugar maple, American beech, black birch, and some eastern white pine. There were also hemlock forests, hemlock-beech-northern hardwood forests, and hemlock-beech-oak-pine forests featuring eastern hemlock, American beech, northern red oak, and eastern white pine. Lowland spruce-fir forests featured red spruce, balsam fir, paper birch, and yellow birch. The highest peaks supported montane spruce-fir forest.

Low-lying wetlands supported black spruce, red maple, and some Atlantic white cedar swamps. River floodplains had forests of red maple, silver maple, sugar maple, black cherry, and American elm.

This area was more utilized for agriculture in the past, but most of it has been abandoned and much of the land has returned to forest. There is a small amount of pastureland and hay production remaining. The region also is used for forestry, tourism and recreation, and hunting and fishing. There is some rural residential development, and there are also some protected lands, including both state parks and wildlife management areas.

This region is bordered to the south and southeast by the similar but slightly warmer Worcester/Monadnock Plateau, to the west by the slightly lower-elevation Vermont Piedmont, to the north by the White Mountain Foothills, and in a small border to the east by the Sebago-Ossipee Hills and Plains.


1. Griffith, G.E., Omernik, J.M., Bryce, S.A., Royte, J., Hoar, W.D., Homer, J.W., Keirstead, D., Metzler, K.J., and Hellyer, G. "Ecoregions of New England (Poster)", U.S. Geological Survey (2009) Web.