New Hampshire’s largest city isn’t where most of us think of going to explore nature. But nature abounds here at the 640-acre Manchester Cedar Swamp Preserve, the largest conservation area in the city—providing residents and visitors alike with opportunities for a peaceful escape, outdoor recreation and nature study close to home.
Curious visitors who follow the preserve’s easily accessible and well-maintained 1.8-mile trail system will find shady hemlock groves, giant rhododendron patches and the globally rare Atlantic white cedar swamps that are the preserve’s namesake. Mingling in are black gum, another long-lived tree species that occurs in the Manchester Cedar Swamp wetlands. Some of these trees are over 450 years old.
When you’re down on the boardwalk in the cedar swamp, the stillness and sense of solitude can feel like a remote wilderness. Amazing to think that in 10 minutes’ time you can be off the trails and in downtown Manchester getting ready for your next adventure!