Places We Protect

Williams Woods Natural Area


White Trillium at Williams Woods in Spring
White Trillium White Trillium at Williams Woods in Spring © Jennifer Moffett

The clayplain forests in the Champlain Valley are one of the state's rarest natural communities.



Williams Woods may be the best remaining mature valley clayplain forest in the Champlain Valley. This forest type is composed of white oak, red oak, red maple, white pine, shagbark hickory and white ash. Associated species include hemlock, sugar maple, beech and bur oak. Although this forest type once covered thousands of acres in the Champlain Valley, woodlands like these are now rare.

Recently we named the 1 mile trail at William Woods the "Hamilton Trail," after our long serving trustee, Dr. Lawrence S. Hamilton, who passed in the fall of 2016. His contributions to the conservation arena are too many to list but his impact as a professor, writer, nature advocate, community member and friend made an indelible impact both locally and globally. 

Why TNC Selected This Site

Williams Woods is an excellent example of valley clayplain forest.

What TNC is Doing

We hope to protect and restore other clayplain forests in the Lake Champlain region. TNC’s stewardship team is controlling invasive plant species and maintaining the trail at Williams Woods.




Experience the beauty of Williams Woods.


63 acres

Explore our work in this region

There is a one-mile trail at this preserve. Please read our Preserve Visitation Guidelines.

What to See: Plants

There are five different natural community types within Williams Woods: a valley clayplain forest, a white pine and hemlock stand, mixed hardwoods, a marshy area along Thorp Brook, and a regenerating field.

What to See: Animals

Vernal pools associated with Thorp Brook are important breeding sites for amphibians. Williams Woods is home to a number of amphibians such as the blue-spotted salamander, the grey tree frog, and the red-spotted newt. Barred owls have been sighted in the forest as well.