Visiting New Hampshire's Biodiversity 

Bradford Bog: Atlantic White Cedar Swamp / Peatland System 



Description: Located in a secluded area of central NH, Bradford Bog affords the rewards of silence and solitude in addition to an up-close view of one of the state’s northernmost Atlantic white cedar swamps. A variety of natural community types occur at Bradford Bog, and some of them, like the inland Atlantic white cedar swamp itself, are considered exemplary. From the trailhead south of the road, a boardwalk leads through densely forested swamp out to a small wooden observation tower overlooking an exemplary medium level fen system. Atlantic white cedar, hemlock, and spruce are all common in the forest, whereas black spruce and larch are the dominant trees out on the semi-open peatland. Several species of showy wildflowers bloom along the trail in the spring and early summer.


Directions:
From Rte. 9 in Hillsborough, go northwest on Hillsborough Center and East Washington Roads about 9 miles to East Washington, the northeast on East Washington Road about half a mile. Park on the right and take the trail in to the swamp. Along the way several faint, unmarked side trails spur off into the dark cedar swamp. These are well worth the short excursion as here you will see an even lusher forest floor of mosses and decaying cedar trunks. The distance one-way is approximately a quarter of a mile.

Landowner:
Town of Bradford


View out over the peatland system from the observation tower at the end of the boardwalk trail at Bradford Bog (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)
View out over the Bradford Bog peatland system from the observation tower
at the end of the boardwalk trail (photo by Ben Kimball)

Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar) (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Bradford Bog trail (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Observation tower at the end of the Bradford Bog boardwalk path (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Spring at Bradford Bog (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar) trunks and bark (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Boardwalk trail through inland Atlantic white cedar swamp at Bradford Bog (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) View from the Bradford Bog observation tower (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar) (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Boardwalk trail through inland Atlantic white cedar swamp community at Bradford Bog (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar) at Bradford Bog (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Fallen trunks in the exemplary inland Atlantic white cedar swamp at Bradford Bog (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) black spruce - larch swamp at Bradford Bog (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Boardwalk through black spruce (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Boardwalk (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Larix laricina (eastern larch) trees at Bradford Bog (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Bradford Bog site map (click for larger pdf file)

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