Dedicated a National Natural Landmark in 2012, Ice Mountain is a 150-acre nature preserve in Hampshire County owned by The Nature Conservancy.
Ice Mountain gets its name from the refrigeration effect that takes place inside its talus — a sloping mass of boulders at the foot of a mountain.
The cool air flowing from some 60 small holes and openings at the base of the talus sustain boreal plants usually found much farther north.
Species such as dwarf dogwood (pictured), Canada mayflower, and bristly rose can be found at Ice Mountain Preserve.
The preserve also provides habitat for breeding neotropical birds such as warblers, vireos and thrushes. Hikers may even spot a raven, pictured here, nesting on the outcrops of "Ravens Rocks.”
Lucky visitors might catch a glimpse of an otter or mink fishing the North River, pictured here.
Two trails traverse the preserve, which is open for guided tours throughout most of the year. Visitors are asked to schedule a visit by calling (304) 496-7359, or visiting our trained volunteers’ web site.