Bradford Bog Trees

by Katie Salvatore

The Bradford Bog is a great and easy walk in a rare environment. The Bog was given to the town of Bradford in 1971 by the New England Floral Society, which had purchased it as a sanctuary for White Cedar and other rare florals.

It is one of the most northwestern habitats of the White Cedar, which grows in freshwater coastal environments. This is a forested bog; the mat, which is formed by thousands of years of plants growing over each other and sinking into the bog, has become thick enough to support the growth of trees.

Bradford Bog TrailheadBradford Bog Trailhead

Planks line the path through the rich fauna, like Rhodera, Bog Rosemary, Mountain Holly, Pitcher Plants, and Sundews, for 0.6 miles; it’s an easy walk along the planks.

At the end is an observation tower to view the bog from above. Warblers and other birds are heard chirping and tracks from deer, moose, and fox show who’s been there.

Bradford Bog BoardwalkBradford Bog Boardwalk Through White Cedars

Nearby is where the Bradford Springs Hotel used to be, which attracted visitors before Europeans arrived. The waters there were known for their healing powers, due to the naturally occurring chemicals, for a wide array of ills.

The hotel was built in 1858 and was expanded in 1881 to accommodate thousands of visitors who came to be healed and was successful for a number of years, however, it closed soon after the turn of the century when it was no longer profitable.

Bradford Bog LandscapeView from the Bradford Bog Observation Tower

The buildings were all torn down, except for an octagonal springhouse, which now resides at Muster Field Farm. All that’s left to commemorate the Springs is a few cellar holes, a kiosk, and a plaque.

More information:

NH Division of Forests and Lands – Bradford Bog

Bradford Bog Trail Map