University of Vermont Natural Area
Colchester, Vermont 05446
University of Vermont Natural Areas webpage
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The TrailFinder website has a description and map of a hike at Colchester Bog.
About Colchester Bog
Colchester Bog resides on a peninsula between two rapidly developing shoreline areas of Lake Champlain and is located just a few miles north of the city of Burlington. This 175-acre peatland serves as a haven for a great diversity of flora and faunal species which makes it a prime location for research and the simple enjoyment of nature.
With the help of The Nature Conservancy, the University of Vermont acquired 180 acres in 1973 and has since managed them as the Colchester Bog Natural Area. The area consists of an open peatland, shrub and tree-dominated swamps, open water areas called laggs, a sand dune, and several adjacent uplands. The Bog itself consists of a forest dominated by a dense thicket of shrubs and trees and an open mat of sphagnum moss and sedges.
Some of the tree types at Colchester Bog include maple, ash, and elm, as well as white cedar, pitch pine, black spruce, and tamarack. Some of the common shrubs include mountain holly, rhodora, sheep laurel, and labrador tea. In an effort to allow visitors to see this special natural area while minimizing the impacts of trampling on the bog, community members and an array of students constructed a boardwalk and observation deck made of wooden planks which are kept in place by plastic floats.
To access the Colchester Bog boardwalk, park in the Airport Park lots and walk toward the forest behind the baseball fields. The boardwalk connects to the walking trail that borders the bog in that wooded area.
From University of Vermont Natural Areas webpage