Loverens Mill Cedar Swamp, Antrim

About this Location

Atlantic white cedar swamps are rare in New Hampshire, comprising only about one percent of the state’s wetlands. The swamps can seem mysterious when you encounter the tall cedars covered with a dark wet tangle of lichens, their tilted gray trunks and spidery roots reaching into a deep bed of sphagnum moss. At fifty acres in size, the Loverens Mills Cedar Swamp is the second-largest and considered the highest quality boreal cedar swamp in New Hampshire. Pollen studies have revealed that Atlantic white cedar has been present for more than 4,000 years in this remarkable place. A variety of boreal flora grows alongside the cedar trees, including black spruce, tamaracks, mountain holly, smooth winterberry, and beautiful rosebud azaleas. Groundcover plants like sheep laurel, Canadian bunchberry, and yellow loosestrife add splashes of color when they bloom in late spring and early summer, and in fall smudges of rust and red creep in with the changing foliage of cinnamon fern, blueberry, huckleberry, and red maple.

A three-mile trail system provides access to the Atlantic white cedar swamp, forests, and river shore along the North Branch of the Contoocook. To reach these trails, follow a woods road from the parking area southwesterly along the North Branch for about 0.25 miles. Along the way, you will see the remains of the Loverens Mill site and dam, originally constructed in 1798. The mill was run by the Josiah Loveren family from the 1860s until the early 1900s and produced timbers, shingles, and siding for the local area. After 0.25 miles, the preserve entrance and trail are off to the right. Shortly after entering the preserve, a 200-yard boardwalk leads into the heart of the cedar swamp. Beyond the boardwalk, the trail travels through mixed hardwoods and softwoods and passes several large glacial erratic boulders deposited here by the last ice age. At 0.3 miles beyond the boardwalk, a trail junction marks the beginning of a loop that explores the river’s shoreline and extensive wetlands. You can view the nearby hills of the Forest Society’s adjacent Pierce Reservation from here in the winter. There are a few steep sections along the trail, but most of it is relatively easy hiking.

Notable Trails

The AllTrails website has a description and map of a hike at Loverens Mill Cedar Swamp.

Content from Official Website