The Atlantic White Cedar Bog totals 55 acres, and has been protected by the Trust since 1995. The Atlantic White Cedar is a very slow-growing, long lived tree, but it has not been resilient in the face of encroachment and these swamps have become increasingly rare. The water and rot resistant quality of the swamp cedar meant the trees were harvested in great numbers. It is estimated almost 78% of these bogs have been lost. The remaining swamps are under pressure from groundwater pollution and runoff, and the buffers between the swamps and the surrounding industry are frequently too narrow. Our land trust is working hard to protect and preserve this valuable, but vulnerable, habitat.
The bog itself is a peatland, land that is perpetually wet with water that moves slowly, contains sphagnum moss and is highly acidic. The bog has been listed on Connecticut’s Natural Diversity Data base as a unique site.
There is no boardwalk through the bog, but the the old railroad bed of the “Air Line” trail, which also runs through the Trust’s Two Sisters Tract, navigates around the circumference of the property. Hikers can look down into the White Cedar bog as they walk along. Good birding, especially in the spring, and it is also worth bringing a butterfly identification book. There are ongoing studies of the plant, insect and animals that inhabit this unique area.
It is important not to leave the Air Line trail to avoid trespassing on private property or injuring the bog.
The Airline Trail crosses Rt. 203, and if you follow it across 203, in .86m you will reach another Joshua’s Trust preserve, the Two Sisters Tract, also in Windham.
Atlantic White Cedar information, Natural Communities of NH
Atlantic White Cedar information, MA Dept of Wildlife
– For serious bog enthusiasts only; this USGS document is 125 pages long: The ecology of the White Cedar Wetlands.
Air Line State Park
Chaplin Air Line State Park Trail
Route 6, Windham, Connecticut
There is no Google map available at this time.
Turn onto Rt. 203 at the intersection of Rt. 203 and Rt. 6, heading east towards N. Windham Center/Scotland. Go the short distance to the railroad right-of-way and park there on the right hand side of the road. To reach toTwo Sisters Tract, take the trail on the left hand side of the road.Parking is also available a short distance down the road at the North Windham school.