Ownership: Nature Conservancy
In 1999 the Nature Conservancy acquired 633 acres in the northeast corner of Antrim and adjoining Stoddard to protect this globally rare White Cedar Swamp now known at the Loverens Mill Cedar Swamp Preserve. In 2006 the Conservancy doubled the protected lands with the acquisition of 635 acres in neighboring Windsor. This preserve has been cooperatively developed and maintained by the Nature Conservancy and Society for the Protection of NH Forests (SPNHF). Nature conservation partners have connected the preserve to a larger conservation project which includes the 5,000-acre SPNHF owned Peirce Reservation in Stoddard and Windsor.
Directions: From Antrim go north on Rt31, take a left on Rt 9 heading west for about two miles to Loveren Mill Rd. Turn right on Loveren Mill Rd and just across the bridge, there is a parking area on the right.
The Preserve is located along a dirt road across the road, and slightly North of the parking area. Follow this road 0.25 miles to the Preserve trailhead, which is marked by a sign and register box.
Activities: Hiking and walking.
Use Policies: No pets are permitted, foot travel only, stay on trails in wetlands, no camping or fires, no hunting in eastern part of preserve
Amenities: There are no restrooms or water available. A public rest area with bathrooms is located on route 9 just west of Loveren Mill Road.
Web Link: www.nature.org/newhampshire
Maps: A Preserve Map is available at The Nature Conservancy Web Link indicated above.
Loveren’s Trail: Three mile trail. As you walk the access road into the Preserve from Loveren's Mill Road, you pass the remains of the Loveren's Mill site and dam, originally constructed in 1798. As you enter the trail you discover a mixed forest of balsam fir, red spruce, white pine, and red oak.
Just 0.1 mile from the trailhead is a 200-foot boardwalk that extends into the swamp and over a thick bed of sphagnum moss. You may note that the site is unusual in that it is a "boreal" swamp with species typical of more northern latitudes. This is indicated by a black spruce to your left as you step onto the boardwalk and by a small tamarack about 50 feet away on your right. The Loveren's
Mill site is at an elevation of 1,040 feet, and the surrounding high hills funnel cold air down into the swamp, thus simulating a climate found further north. Other wetlands plants you will find along the boardwalk include, cinnamon fern, maleberry, smooth winterberry, sheep laurel, mountain holly, and red maple. In the spring and early summer the bog mat is accented with yellow loosestrife, also known as "swamp candles".
Back on the trail, you encounter several huge boulders. These "glacial erratics" were deposited more than 15,000 years ago by retreating glaciers. Enjoy the fragrant balsams as you proceed toward the North Branch of the Contoocook River. In the summer, ebony jewelwing damselflies breed and lay eggs on the grass stems in the water here. The North Branch provides wildlife habitat for mink, muskrat, river otter, and beaver.
Watch for moose signs along the final stretch of the trail. Other wildlife species that inhabit the preserve include wild turkey, white-tailed deer, Easter coyote, fisher, and black bear. Common birds include black-capped chickadee, hermit thrush, white-throated sparrow, veery, and Louisiana waterthrush.