NH Family Hikes

Manchester Cedar Swamp

Length: 1.8 miles out-and-back with loops

Difficulty (click for info): Beginner

Elevation Gain: minimal

Rating (click for info): 5/10

Type: Atlantic White Cedar-Giant Rhododendron Swamp

Driving Directions:
Trailhead and parking area are on Countryside Boulevard in Manchester, NH. To get there, take Hackett Hill Road from the west side of Rt. 3A, 1.2 miles south of Rt. 93 at exit 10 and 1.4 miles north of Rt. 293 at exit 7. In 0.8 miles down the road, turn left onto Countryside Boulevard. The parking area is on the left in 0.5 miles, marked by a Nature Conservancy kiosk.

Trail Map

About the Hike:
The Manchester Cedar Swamp Preserve, owned by The Nature Conservancy, encompasses one of the largest cedar swamps in the state. In addition to the swamp, the hiking trails of the preserve also include a scenic woodland walk and a loop through a rhododendron grove. This hike will take you through all of these wonderful features. The hike starts on the woodland loop. Going counterclockwise, the trail winds through a pretty oak and pine forest to the Cedar Loop, the main feature of the property. The Cedar Loop takes you through the swamp on a boardwalk. Inside the swamp, you will find many beautiful and rare plants, such as mountain laurel, winterberry, and Atlantic White Cedar trees. There is much open water and soggy ground in the swamp. The boardwalk makes a short loop and ends back at the Woodland Loop. Continuing on the trail, you will next reach the Rhododendron Loop. This trail leads over a small stream and through a power line clearing twice before splitting into a loop at a beautiful rhododendron grove. Most of the bushes are far off the trail, but there are many up close to enjoy. After completing the loop, return to the woodland loop and continue back to the parking area.

Printable directions page
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