Places We Protect

Shaw Mountain Natural Area


White flowers with yellow centers and green leaves grow among tree roots and brown fallen leaves.
Shaw Mountain Trillium blanketing the forest floor at our Shaw Mountain Natural Area, a great location to enjoy spring wildflowers. © Chuck Helfer

Autumn bursts with color just as spring provides a glorious show of wildflowers.



The limestone uplift of Shaw Mountain rises over 500 feet from the surrounding land, and is a dominant landscape feature in Benson and adjacent West Haven, Vermont. Shaw Mountain Natural Area supports 11 distinct natural communities, including a shrub swamp, vernal pools, an oak-hickory forest, and a calcareous outcrop community, in addition to 15 rare plant species.

Why TNC Selected this Site

TNC targeted the Shaw Mountain area for conservation due to its high biodiversity value, excellent condition, and large size.




Come see the spectacular plants and animals located at Shaw Mountain Natural Area.


451 acres

Explore our work in Vermont

A wonderful nature trail begins at the preserve parking area. The trail is 2.1 miles round trip. 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

Several of the natural communities found at Shaw Mountain are considered outstanding examples of their type. These include a shrub swamp, vernal pools, a mesic maple-ash-hickory-oak forest, and a calcareous outcrop community. Notable plants include handsome sedge, large-bracted tick-trefoil, yellow oak, snowy aster, squaw root, sessile-leaved boneset, three-lobed violet, and four-leaved milkweed.

What to See: Animals

Spotted salamanders breed in the vernal pools on Shaw Mountain’s limy saddles. Wild turkeys nest and feed throughout the oak-hickory forests and bobcats den among the rocky slopes and ledges.