eBird Hotspots Where to Go Birding

Oyster River Forest, Durham

Birding in New Hampshire

Oyster River Forest
Durham, New Hampshire 03824
Oyster River Forest webpage

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Strafford County
Durham

Oyster River Forest, Durham
Coordinates: 43.1245023, -70.9685469
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About Oyster River Forest
The 171-acre Oyster River Forest (previously known as the Sprucewood Forest) is owned by the Town of Durham. Consisting of both woods and fields, it is located approximately three miles from the center of town. Boundaries of the property include Mill Road to the south and southeast and the UNH College Woods to the northeast, and on the west, it abuts the Spruce Hole Bog and Spruce Hole Conservation Area off Packers Falls Road. A small amount of parking is located near a gate off Packers Falls Road.

The property will permanently protect Durham’s current and future water supplies, contribute to the health of the Great Bay, provide habitat for the threatened New England cottontail rabbit, and provide public recreational access adjacent to the College Woods.

Purchased in 2013 through partnerships with the U.S. Natural Conservation Resources Service (NRCS), which will hold an easement on the property, and The Trust for Public Land, the property sits over a large portion (approximately 55 acres) of the Spruce Hole Aquifer. The Town of Durham intends to use this stratified drift formation, which that has the potential to both yield and store large quantities of water, as a public water supply in the near future. Together with the conserved abutting Amber Acres Farm, the property will protect over a mile and a half of frontage along the Oyster River.

Easy access is obtained from an abandoned forest road or from College Woods. The public may enjoy low-impact recreational uses on the property, such as birding, fishing, hiking, and cross-country skiing. Other permitted uses have yet to be determined; the Conservation Commission and the Town Council will develop a policy, considering the natural resources that the property is intended to protect. The property affords a significant opportunity for trails on the property itself and as part of a network of trails on nearby properties.
From Oyster River Forest webpage