Springs and Seeps

One of the seep springs near the Blow-Me-Down Trail.
One of the seep springs near the Blow-Me-Down Trail, Saint-Gaudens NHS.

Due to the glaciation that occurred in this region there are several seep springs at Saint-Gaudens NHS. These can be seen from the Blow-Me-Down Trail, as they cross under the trail in several locations. Seep springs occur when groundwater is forced onto the open landscape due to an encounter with a hard surface. For example, as water infiltrates into the ground it filters through dirt and rock layers until it hits a surface it can’t penetrate; when this happens the water moves horizontally and can exit to the surface as a seep spring. This type of seep spring is often reliant on rainwater to keep it flowing and originates around the bases of hills. Glaciation was responsible for forming these seeps by depositing lighter, more penetrable, materials on top of exposed granite bedrock. This bedrock layer causes the water to move horizontally as it infiltrates the ground.

There are two brooks that meander through the park, the Blow-Me-Down Brook and the Blow-Me-Up Brook. The Blow-Me-Up travels along the north side of the park before merging with the Blow-Me-Down, which runs along the west side of the park. Both brooks are monitored for chemical composition, signs of pollution, and aquatic species. Augustus Saint-Gaudens had a swimming hole created on the Blow-Me-Up Brook which he used until 1898. The fieldstone dam is still present and can be viewed from the Ravine Trail, though the pool has been filled in with sediment over time. The brooks are home to a variety of aquatic life, including Beavers, Salamanders, Golden Shiners, and Brook Trout.

Last updated: February 26, 2015

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

139 Saint Gaudens Road
Cornish, NH 03745



Contact Us