Somerset Old Growth Forest Tour -WRWA members only

Saturday, March 21st – CANCELED

Retired Windham County Forester Bill Guenther will once again lead a tour to a Somerset woodlot in what is believed to be a stand of old growth, mostly of yellow birch. This 60-acre property was a gift to Leland & Gray High School many years ago. About 12–15 acres of the property are stocked with the big birches, with the remainder in spruce/fir and beaver flowage.

Several years ago, Bill went out before leaf-out and measured what he believed to be the largest yellow birch in the stand. Since the State champion yellow birch up in Victory died a few years ago, the new champ was crowned out in Somerset.

We offer this trip only to WRWA members and the group size is limited to 11. Bill will need to hear from you by Tuesday, March 17th,if you are interested in going. We need a minimum of five folks to sign up for the trip, so please contact Bill by phone or email (see below) to let him know you want to sign on. Everyone is welcome, but membership is required to secure one of the 11 slots.

We will meet in Wilmington at 9:30 a.m. sharp to set up carpooling. Meeting spot and more details will be given after I hear from folks. I will need participants’ phone numbers and e-mail addresses. The trip is by reservation only and I need to screen folks to make sure everyone knows we are going into the icebox of Windham County!

Once at the Somerset Dam, we’ll travel 1.5 miles up the Old County Road to the western edge of the property, then bushwhack east out to the old growth. We ask that folks bring either skis or snowshoes: This is a big snow belt and even in late March there could be snow depths at about chest high.

Around lunchtime we’ll stop at the woodlot’s campsite and have a picnic lunch. It will be a nice warm-up if you also bring a thermos of your favorite hot beverage. After lunch we’ll head out into the birch stand and look at these magnificent specimens; many are well over three feet in diameter.

We hope to conclude our day by about 4 p.m. Keep in mind that even though the trip will take place in late March, we could easily have some pretty severe winter conditions, so dress warmly and in layers. We want to assure a safe and enjoyable day for everyone.

Call Bill Guenther at 365-4252 or e-mail him at to reserve a spot (no later than March 17th), get the specific meeting place, and to make sure you’ve got the right gear. This trip is moderate to somewhat strenuous, and we’ll be a long way from anywhere. Bill also needs to ensure that the private road up to the dam has been plowed. Adverse road conditions could cause us to cancel. Spring comes very late out there!

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