Sculptured Rocks Natural Area in Groton, NH is a beautiful exhibit of powerful natural geological processes. It’s easily accessible right off Sculptured Rocks road, and it’s a great little place to stop and explore. It’s amazing to me how such a cool place could be right there behind the trees on the side of the road.
The Cockermouth River itself is very beautiful, and the tall rock ledges on either side make some nice cool, shady spots even on a hot day.
The falls themselves are a wonder to see. It’s incredible to see how the water and the silt it has carried have worn the surrounding rocks down over thousands of years into the beautiful, smooth walls that exist today. It’s hard to imagine how something as simple as a river could create something like this, but at Sculptured Rocks you can see how the processes that made the formations are still happening. A great example is the numerous potholes (also known as giant’s kettles or giant’s cauldrons) formed by rocks which, caught in the river’s currents, are literally drilling holes into the surrounding boulders.
While the incredible rock formations and the river are the main attractions, there is actually quite a bit of wildlife to see along the river and in the surrounding woods if you slow down and look. I saw a few birds including an Eastern Phoebe, as well as a bunch of cool bugs like the Golden Stonefly and lots of Water Striders like the one pictured below.
Tom Howe is a third year Div II at Hampshire College concentrating in graphic design. he lives in Goshen, NH and grew up in Anchorage, AK. He likes hiking, biking and cross country skiing, and just generally being outside.
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