Floodplain Forest

Essex County, New York
Forever-Wild Easement; Completed Project

In March 2005, the Northeast Wilderness Trust purchased a forever-wild conservation easement on a 90-acre property encompassing a rare intact floodplain forest along the Boquet River. Because of their rich soils and general absence of stones, most of the Northeast’s floodplain forests were logged or converted to agricultural use in the 1700s and 1800s. Ecologist Marc Lapin, who conducted an ecological assessment on the land, found several notable species including wild rye, wild millet, and yellow oak. Marc also described the unusual presence of black maples, which are not typically found this far north or in “clayplain” natural communities.

Signs of mink, otter, bobcat, and deer abound in the Floodplain Forest. Beavers are active on the land, and their work is seen with felled and hourglass shaped trees. The main trail takes hikers through the heart of the property looking down at the floodplain to the east while to the west one can glimpse the cool, dark interior of a mature hemlock forest. The trail ends at a rich swamp, a peaceful place to place to sit, listen, and watch.

Hikers who ramble over to the east side of the property will find the river. “The fact that the entire eastern portion of the property abuts the Boquet River makes this land even more important,” says Tim Burke, a local resident and former Wilderness Trust board member. “The Boquet River flows from the high peaks of the Adirondacks, into the Champlain Valley and empties into Lake Champlain…[it is] a New York State designated Wild, Scenic and Recreational River…protection of its shoreline by the Northeast Wilderness Trust will help preserve water quality and a significant buffer.”

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