Black Gum Swamp Tour August 7

On Friday evening, August 7, Windham Regional Woodlands Association presents a walking tour, led by County Forester Bill Guenther, of the famous black gum swamps located on J. Maynard Miller Memorial Town Forest in Vernon. This unique forest supports an extensive system of swamps that include black gum (Nyssa sylvatica). This species is not rare 400 miles south, but in Vermont it is a survivor from the past when the climate was warmer. There are some trees here that are believed to be over 400 years old. We will walk a fairly easy loop trail around the main swamp and explore the unique ecology that this forest offers. The walk will be held rain or shine. In fact, this one is almost better in the rain, as the forest has what Bill has always felt to be a primeval quality.

Maynard Miller, a local dairy farmer for whom the forest is named, convinced the town back in the early 70s of the importance of this tract, and persuaded the town to buy it to ensure its permanent protection. He usually accompanied groups touring his beloved forest. Unfortunately, Mr. Miller passed away in the late 90s. We’ll miss his presence.

We will meet at 5:30 p.m. at the cul-de-sac parking at Miller Forest, and depart at 5:40 sharp. To get there, travel south on Rte. 142 from Brattleboro, going past Vernon Village. After going a bit more than a mile past the Village, make a RIGHT turn onto Pond Road and go under the train overpass. Travel down Pond Road to Huckle Hill Road (town swimming pool is on your left) and make a RIGHT onto Huckle Hill Rd. When you come to a fork, go RIGHT onto Basin Road and go to its terminus at the paved parking lot. While the trail is a fairly easy walk, we encourage participants to wear sturdy walking shoes or boots. We will complete our walk around 7:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Windham County Forester Bill Guenther at 257-7967 x 305, or by email at

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