FAQs - Quincy Bog


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In the most technical sense, no. It’s a type of wetland called a fen. Both fens and bogs are wetlands with peat soils derived from decomposing vegetation. Bogs receive most of their water input from rain and snow; fens like Quincy Bog receive most of their water from streams and groundwater. Quincy Bog was formed as a kettle hole bog over 12,000 years ago at the end of the Ice Age and gradually became a fen as decomposing plant material filled in the kettle hole.

The early settlers of the Baker River Valley were farmers and loggers, not scientists. They used the word “bog” to describe any open wetland with deep mucky soils.

The trail is approximately one mile in length. It is mostly flat, with a short section that winds uphill and down along the Ledges. Wetlands are crossed by a series of causeways, boardwalks and bridges, most without handrails.

It starts on the porch of the Nature Center and can be walked in either direction. At the first trail junction, continue straight ahead toward “Bog Overlook;” at the next sign turn right toward the “Ledges” and proceed clockwise around the back side of the pond, crossing the outlet stream and returning to the Nature Center along the west shore.

If you prefer to walk the trail in the other direction, turn right at the sign pointing to “Beaver Dam.” Cross the bridge over the outlet stream and continue counter-clockwise around the back side of the pond, passing the “Point” and “Ledges” as you return to the Nature Center.

The main beaver dam is 10 or 15 minutes from the Nature Center. At the first trail junction, turn right at the sign “Beaver Dam.”
There’s also a short loop around the wetlands near the Nature Center. Follow the sign to “Bog Overlook.” At the next trail junction, turn left at the “Nature Center” sign. Cross the wooden bridge and follow the edge of the field until the trail turns left and re-enters the woods a short distance from the Nature Center. The field is part of a private tree farm, but the owner welcomes foot traffic.

During the summer you’ll see lots of birds and dragonflies, as well as turtles, salamanders and frogs.

Beavers can also be seen along the shore of the pond, especially early in the morning and evenings. Beaver lodges can be seen from the west shore of the pond, in the swamp between the Ledges and the Point, and just offshore near the trail junction to the Point.

Moose visit from time to time, feeding on the vegetation along the shore of the pond. Look for moose tracks in the mud along the trail on the back side of the pond.

The pond is 6 to 10 feet deep in the middle, but varies considerably depending on the level of beaver activity.

Beavers returned to the Bog in the late 1990s, rebuilding the main dam and enlarging the pond.

When the beavers run out of food, they will stop maintaining the dam and move on. Eventually the pond will shrink to one or two acres of open water near the Nature Center, surrounded by marsh.