NH Family Hikes

Hurlbert Swamp

Length: 1.5 miles out-and-back

Difficulty (click for info): Beginner

Elevation Gain: minimal

Rating (click for info): 7/10

Type: Northern White Cedar - Balsam Fir Swamp

Driving Directions:
Trailhead and parking area are on Hill Top Drive, in Stewartstown, NH. Take West Road off Rt. 145, 8.7 miles north of its southern junction with Rt. 3 and 3.4 miles south of its northern junction with Rt. 3. After 1.7 miles, turn left onto Moose Mountain Road. Continue 0.9 miles, turn left, and drive 0.1 miles to the parking area. After 1 mile, bear left onto Hill Top Drive. The route is marked with Nature Conservancy signs for Hurlbert Swamp.

Trail Map

About the Hike:
Far from most people's definition of a swamp, Hurlbert Swamp is both a habitat for rare plant life and a quiet, peaceful, and very beautiful place. Far away from any major towns, it is easy to spend hours enjoying the solitude and isolation of this scenic place. The trail starts on a long, grassy road lined with beautiful fir trees. After 1/4 mile, you will reach a clearing with a Nature Conservancy trail register. Continue on the road for another 1/4 mile, then turn left and follow the path down to the boardwalk. The forest changes immediately when you step out onto the boardwalk. The ground is soft and many small shrubs and plants grow from the moss. Tall fir trees surround the boardwalk, with berries and colorful flowers at their base. Here, you enter the first type of swamp, called a Black Spruce Swamp. Green moss completely covers the ground. Do not put any weight on the soft green carpet - you would sink into the water below. Further up, the boardwalk crosses a stream and enters the second swamp, the Northern White Cedar-Balsam Fir Swamp. The main feature of this part of the swamp is the Northern White Cedar tree. This type of tree grows almost exclusively above the 45th parallel. Many of them can be seen growing in stands in Hurlbert Swamp. The boardwalk finally reaches a small clearing with a stand of the cedar trees and turns around.

Printable directions page
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