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Special Features: Natural
Walking Conditions: Trail
Bring: Binoculars, Boots, Field Guide
This Quest takes you on an in-depth exploration of an alder swamp and wildlife sanctuary. The Alder swamp is a common shrub-dominated wetland found in every town in the Upper Valley region. Alder swamps often occur alongside lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. Because they are often flooded—and their soils are saturated with water—these swamps favor plant species that can tolerate submerged roots, like speckled alder, a variety of willows, and red-osier dogwood. These swamps are important habitat for a variety of insects, birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. The Chaffee Wildlife Sanctuary, named for the first director of the Montshire Museum, is managed by the Lyme Conservation Commission to: protect wildlife habitat and native riparian vegetation, particularly for birds; guard water quality in the brooks and pond; and provide low-impact public recreational access to wetlands and trails.