Chaffee Sanctuary

Lyme, NH
Difficulty: Easy
Special Features: Natural
Walking Conditions: Trail
Duration: 0:20
Season: May-Oct
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.


Take the Thetford Exit (14) from I-91 and follow 113 east to Lyme. From Lyme Village (just beyond the green) follow Route 10 north for 1.7 miles. The entrance to the Chaffee Sanctuary is on the left, beyond the entrance to the Post Pond boat launch/beach/rec area, immediately after the bridge guard railing. Park in the grass lot where this Quest begins.

Clues and Map

Click here to view/print the clues and map for this quest.


This Quest was created by Andrea Lewis with assistance from Bill Shepard and the Connecticut River Birding Trail in 2003.