Bike Scavenger Hunt - Hampton Park - Check out These Knees!

Hampton Park is a classic urban park designated and designed in the early 1900’s with well-lit paths and a variety of features from hillsides, to open meadows to a small stream.  On the south end of the park is a children’s play area and a dog run.

It has many trees including some large old Maple and distinguished Beech.  You’ll be able to recognize the Beech trees as they have smooth light grey bark and large stabilizing roots flaring from the trunk and looking almost like gnarled feet.  The smooth bark will sometimes have horizontal lines that look like the folds in elephant’s knees.  See if you can find a few Beech trees along the paths.

Beeches are a shade-tolerant species that are found in forests in the final stage of ecological succession – land that has transitioned from meadow grassland into a deep shaded heavily wooded area.  They are a slow growing tree and they can live up to 300 years and it is wonderful to see some larger veteran trees in an urban area.  It takes up to 40 years for the tree to start producing seeds. The The nut seeds of the Beech are enjoyed by squirrels and other mammals including foxes, raccoons and rabbits.  How old do you think the Beech trees in Hampton Park are?