Places We Protect

Chickering Bog Natural Area

Vermont

A pond in the foreground with dense forest along the far bank.
Chickering Bog Chickering Bog is rich in biodiversity such as rare plants. © Candice Black

Bullfrogs are known to strike up a seasonal chorus at this fen outside Montpelier.

Overview

Description

Just 15 minutes from Vermont's state capital of Montpelier, this wide-open peatland, circled by dark tamarack, spruce and fir forest, feels as if it is a world away. Chickering Bog began to form when glaciers receded from Vermont over 10,000 years ago and left behind a bedrock basin that filled with water. Chickering Bog is actually misnamed; this so-called bog is really a fen. Water enters bogs solely through rainwater, while fens like Chickering Bog are also fed by calcium-rich groundwater and springs.

A two mile trail and boardwalk named after our former director, Bob Klein, allows visitors to get close to the myriad of fen plants such as blue flag iris and showy lady's slipper orchids, as well as to wildlife. Bullfrogs, pickerel frogs, northern leopard frogs and wood frogs all strike up their choruses in season. Wood ducks,barred owls, pileated woodpeckers, swamp sparrows and other birds are found here. In winter, the tracks of mammals ranging from fishers to white-tailed deer and snowshoe hares crisscross the fen's frozen surface.

This special natural area is now being recognized with a Class I Wetland Designation which is like winning "best in show" among conservation circles. We invite you to come visit what is considered the largest and best example of a rich fen in Vermont.

What TNC is Doing

We completed protection of the bog and most of the surrounding watershed in 2014.

Access

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Highlights

Wood ducks, barred owls, pileated woodpeckers, swamp sparrows and other birds are found here.

Size

220 acres

Explore our work in Vermont

There is a two-mile trail at Chickering Bog Natural Area. An easy walk, the trail leads to a boardwalk that was replaced in 2006 with the help of a Vermont Youth Conservation Corps team so that visitors could continue to walk out over the bog without disturbing it. Please read our Preserve Visitation Guidelines.

Hikers can now track their position while exploring our trails using the Avenza Maps app on their smartphones. To learn how to record your route, drop placemarks, and more using the Avenza Maps app, please see our Avenza How-to Guide and download the natural area's trail map

What to See: Plants

Chickering Bog is home to a large variety of fen plants including grass pink, sundew, cotton grass, blue flag iris, sweet gale, pitcher plant, showy lady’s slipper and livid sedge.

What to See: Animals

Frogs, wood ducks, crows, nuthatches, pileated woodpeckers and the tracks of fur-bearing mammals like bears, white-tailed deer and hares have been spotted here.