Nature & Science

Beaver activity in the wetlands of Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site
Beaver activity in the park wetlands

Saint-Gaudens NHP preserves the home, gardens, and studios of Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The park is comprised of 195 acres owned in-fee, with an additional 175 acres included in the authorized boundary.

Saint-Gaudens NHP preserves the home, gardens, and studios of Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The park is comprised of 195 acres owned in-fee, with an additional 175 acres included in the authorized boundary. Much of the park is wooded, but there are sections of open field and wetlands.

There are two hiking trails on the property, the Ravine Trail (0.25 miles) and the Blow-Me-Down Trail (1.5 miles). The Ravine Trail skirts the edge of the Blow-Me-Up Brook, while the Blow-Me-Down Trail offers glimpses of the Blow-Me-Down Brook and the Mill and Pond. From these trails a variety of wildlife can be seen; a single hike can bring sightings of Eastern Newts, Beavers, White-tailed Deer, Common Garter Snakes, Mink, and numerous bird species. In all there are over 200 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish found at Saint-Gaudens NHP.

The park is located on a west-facing slope and visitors are offered a marvelous view of Mount Ascutney and the Green Mountains of Vermont. Visitors are also treated to the colorful landscape of the formal gardens as they tour the grounds. The gardens were designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and although they have changed over the years, the over-all design remains that of the sculptor. There are over 400 vascular plant species at Saint-Gaudens and seventeen of them are known invasive plants. Each invasive is monitored for spread and controlled based on its invasiveness, ease of removal, and threat or damage caused by the species.

Water quality and pest presence are also monitored at the park. The Blow-Me-Up and Blow-Me-Down brooks, along with the Mill Pond, are monitored regularly to check for pollution and changes in the oxygen levels. The presence of pests is also monitored in order to protect historical artifacts and human health. Different pests can pose different problems to people and historical artifacts, for example mice can damage historic structures and museum collections as well as spread disease, such as Hanta virus, to humans.

Saint-Gaudens, while once covered by glaciers and glacial meltwaters, today is home to upland forests, spring seeps, brooks, and two ponds. Forest surrounds the core historic area, which sits on about 20 acres of land. The main buildings are surrounded by landscaped gardens and outdoor monuments. Come for the natural features and learn more about one of America’s greatest sculptors, or learn more about the sculptor and enjoy the outdoors while you are here.

Inventory and monitoring crew in the forest
Inventory & Monitoring staff collecting data in the Park. (NPS Photo)

Long-term Natural Resource Monitoring

Part of the NPS Inventory & Monitoring Program (I&M), the Northeast Temperate Network (NETN) brings together NPS researchers, citizen scientists, and other organizations to monitor the ecological health of Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park and 12 other parks in the northeast. The wide-reaching, scientifically robust information gathered through these long-term natural resource monitoring projects are important to help park managers make better informed decisions, and in promoting research, education, and public understanding of park resources.

►Contact the offices of the
Northeast Temperate Network at 802-457-3368 x223. Contact: for additional information.

Additional Scientific Resources

Find publications, articles and recent news about NETN parks and monitoring programs.

Resource Briefs provide current information on the state of specific park resources garnered through recently published monitoring and inventory reports. Resource briefs are available on the NETN website and searchable by category for example: Forest Health, Climate & Weather, Land birds, Invasive Species, etc.

Listen to Voices of Science a series of audio stories that focus on the science and conservation practices within the National Park Service

Explore the Northeast Temperate Network website for more reports and data.

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Last updated: January 7, 2020

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139 Saint Gaudens Road
Cornish , NH 03745



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