Black Mountain rises abruptly from the West River in Dummerston to a horseshoe ridge with a summit of 1,280 feet. The mountain originated as a mass of molten rock deep beneath the surface of the earth between 345 and 395 million years ago. Erosion has exposed the granite that forms the core of the mountain.
From the preserve's trailhead, the path up Black Mountain climbs for more than a quarter mile in a very clearly defined stair-like pattern over a set of ancient floodplain terraces. Some of the terraces represent the shore of ancient Lake Hitchcock, the great glacial lake that ran much of the length of the Connecticut and West Rivers at the end of the ice age. From the top of the mountain, there are views as far as New Hampshire's Mount Monadnock and into the river valleys.
Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
The complex of dry ridge-top communities on Black Mountain’s rugged granite contours is exemplary for the region.
What the Conservancy is Doing
The Nature Conservancy recently purchased an additional 2 parcels totalling 251 acres on the mountain, nearly doubling the amount of protected lands here to 593 acres.