Places We Protect

Boquet River Nature Preserve

New York

Women walks through a tall, dense but bright deciduous forest in spring or summer.
Boquet River Preserve Boquet River Preserve hiker © © Erika O. Edgley

A place for people and nature: See how we are connecting community and conservation

Overview

Description

Our Boquet River Nature Preserve is in the heart of downtown Willsboro. It includes 120 acres of floodplain and upland forest, and more than a half-mile of shoreline on the lower Boquet River, the most intact major tributary emptying into Lake Champlain. The Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy has worked with partners and private landowners over the years to protect nearly two miles of shoreline leading to the mouth of the river. Now we are working to strengthen connections between people and their local lands and waters.

In 2015, the Conservancy began implementing a plan to upgrade the preserve’s trails and interpretive information to enhance its recreational and educational value. A new look merits a new name, and second grade student Cora King submitted the winning idea for this property to be called the Boquet River Nature Preserve. In 2018, the Conservancy purchased an additional 10 acres to link the preserve to downtown Willsboro’s Main Street. 

The Conservancy is honored to partner with the town to connect the community to this special place. The upgraded trail between enhances access for people of all ages and abilities to experience nature and its healthful benefits.

Access

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Hours

Open year-round from dawn until dusk.

Highlights

The Champlain Valley features an array of habitats and species not typically found in the Adirondack Park’s including walking fern, maidenhair spleenwort, sycamore, and Canada lily. With extensive trail improvements, access to the Boquet River Nature Preserve is better than ever. Tim’s Trail, named in honor of Tim Barnett, is a 1.15-mile Universal Access loop that has a crushed stone surface that can accommodate walkers, runners, strollers and wheelchairs.

Explore our work in New York

Visit

  • Hours of Visitation

    Boquet River Nature Preserve is open year-round from dawn until dusk for recreational, educational, and, with written permission, scientific uses. Hiking, fishing, bird watching, photography and snowshoeing are popular activities. Dogs must be in owner’s control. As the preserve undergoes trail improvements, please stay on marked trails and be mindful of trail workers.

  • What to See

    Plants: The Champlain Valley features an array of habitats and species not typically found in the Adirondack Park’s interior. Examples at this preserve include walking fern, maidenhair spleenwort, sycamore, and Canada lily.

    Wildlife: The Boquet River is a popular birding spot by foot or by water. In late summer and early fall, thousands of migratory shorebirds can be seen along the Boquet and at the mouth of the river where it meets Lake Champlain.

  • Preserve Trail Map

    This preserve provides an ideal opportunity to connect people with nature. Explore all that Boquet has to offer in our trail map.

    • The River Trail, with its natural tread and rolling terrain, goes through the floodplain and provides angler access to the Boquet. There is also a Universal Access loop available on Tim’s Trail; learn more in the “Accessibility” tab.
    • The Willsboro Boat Launch is located at the end of Gilliland Lane next to one of the three preserve entrances and provides access to the river for canoers and kayakers.
  • Guidelines
    To help ensure that this special place can be enjoyed for future generations, please leave no trace and carry out what you carry in. Camping, littering, hunting, fires, or removal or destruction of plants or animals are prohibited. See our full preserve visitation guidelines for more information. 
A woman pushes another woman in a stroller down a path.
Tim's Trail A 1.15-mile Universal Access loop, the trail has a crushed stone surface that can accommodate walkers, runners, strollers and wheelchairs. © Charles Gleberman

Accessibility

Tim’s Trail, named in honor of Tim Barnett, is a 1.15-mile Universal Access loop designed and built per Federal Accessibility Guidelines. It has a crushed stone surface that can accommodate walkers, runners, strollers and wheelchairs. 

Accessible parking is available at one of the three entrances to Boquet, situated at the top of South Liberty Street just past the old basketball courts. This parking area leads directly to the Universal Access trail. Access our trail map to explore more about this location. 

Accessibility

Tim’s Trail, named in honor of Tim Barnett, is a 1.15-mile Universal Access loop designed and built per Federal Accessibility Guidelines. It has a crushed stone surface that can accommodate walkers, runners, strollers and wheelchairs. 

Accessible parking is available at one of the three entrances to Boquet, situated at the top of South Liberty Street just past the old basketball courts. This parking area leads directly to the Universal Access trail. Access our trail map to explore more about this location. 

Why We Work Here

The Champlain Valley features an array of habitats and species not typically found in the Adirondack Park’s interior. Examples at this nature preserve include walking fern, maidenhair spleenwort, sycamore, and Canada lily. The Conservancy works to maintain diverse natural communities and wildlife corridors in the Champlain Basin. At a much broader scale, this preserve fits into a landscape that bridges Lake Champlain, whose bottom is below sea level (by 305 feet), with New York’s highest peaks (5,344 feet above) in a relatively short distance (25 miles). Shoreline protection along the Boquet River makes this tributary and Lake Champlain less vulnerable to water quality degradation from high flows, ice jams and flooding. It also protects habitat for cold water fish, such as Atlantic salmon.

What We Do

Our conservation priorities in the Champlain Basin are focused on enhancing fish and wildlife habitat, protecting key lands and waters, reducing the risks of climate change, and restoring the health and water quality of tributaries. The conservation benefits of the Boquet River Nature Preserve include floodplain and shoreline protections, scenic and open space protections, and wildlife habitat. The floodplain forest absorbs stormwater and cools the shallows, providing climate refuge for native mussels, fish and other organisms.

Find More Places We Protect

The Nature Conservancy owns nearly 1,500 preserves covering more than 2.5 million acres across all 50 states. These lands protect wildlife and natural systems, serve as living laboratories for innovative science and connect people to the natural world.

See the Complete Map