Bell Cedar Swamp

Posted By on May 21, 2015

this is a combined nature conservancy/avalonia land trust property in north stonington, and is the site of a fairly rare atlantic white cedar swamp. luckily, it’s not entirely swamp; there’s an old farm road that eventually peters out before it gets swampy.

sign

sign

i have driven by the entrance to bell cedar swamp for, quite literally, years—it’s been an itch i’ve been meaning to scratch seemingly forever, and i finally did.

the trail

the trail

it’s close enough by that i walked from my house to the entrance on boombridge road and followed the trail/old farm road to its end.

jetbead (Rhodotypos scandens)

jetbead (Rhodotypos scandens)

it was certainly interesting, but a cavalcade of invasives, unfortunately. i saw japanese barberry, japanese honeysuckle, multiflora rose, asian bittersweet… really, too many to list here. this plant, the jetbead, is not considered invasive in connecticut, but it is in other states. i had never seen it anywhere before, and it took some considerable time with mr. google to figure out what it was. jetbead is native to china and japan, and was imported to the states, like most exotic invasives.

wild geranium

wild geranium

there were also many native wildflowers, including the first pink lady slipper and these wild geraniums.

civil war casualty

civil war casualty

i was told there was an old cemetery on the property but it was not what i was expecting at all. i imagined a tiny, old, overgrown plot, but this place was obviously well-kept and huge. and i suppose by their very nature cemeteries are sad places, but this one seemed especially sad. it contained quite a few generations of the people who lived on this property, and there were many, many childrens’ graves.

i have added this hike to the hikefindertrailhead, no trail map really necessary; it’s a 1-mile out-and-back (2 miles total) and there’s only the one old road.

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