Did you know that there are trees in the City of Manchester estimated to be 450 years old? The rare black gum trees located in the Cedar Swap Nature Preserve are indeed some of the oldest trees in New England. 450 years old. That means they started their life around the same time as Shakespeare or Galileo.
The gum trees are just one remarkable species in the 640 acre nature preserve. Atlantic white cedar, giant rhododendron patches, vernal pools, beaver lodges and dozens of great blue herons are just a few of the other cast members seen along the nearly 2 miles of trails.
Believe it or not, this incredible opportunity to connect with nature is located across the street from Birch Hill. The Nature Conservancy of New Hampshire, the organization that maintains and operates the preserve, visited to present volunteer awards to Birch Hill residents Bill Foss and Dan Monahan. They shared plans for future upgrades – most notably a trail that will be accessible to all abilities from the trail head on Countryside Blvd. to the Cedar Loop trail, site of the spectacular white cedars.
Bill Foss visits the preserve daily and shares photos and details of his treks in an email to residents and friends called Along the Trail. “We are so fortunate and blessed to have this right in our backyard,” Bill said. “The upgrades to the trail mean that residents here at Birch Hill, who previously could not, will be able to enjoy all the preserve has to offer.”
Bill leads a weekly walking group, and welcomes anyone to join him for the sights and sounds along the trail. This world of nature is located just minutes from some of the best art, entertainment and restaurants New Hampshire has to offer. Truly the best of both worlds.
Schedule a tour and see yourself at Birch Hill