Valcour Bog

Location:  Morristown, adjacent to the Morristown Bog Natural Area and Joe’s Pond conservation area

Date Protected: June 2007; easement purchased by SLT with funding from Vermont Housing & Conservation Board and the Vermont Chapter of The Nature Conservancy

Acres:  29

Landowner:  Privately owned; conservation easement held by Stowe Land Trust and the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board

Conservation Purposes:  The primary purposes of the conservation easement are to contribute to the implementation of the policies of the State of Vermont designed to foster the conservation of the state’s ecological, agricultural, forest and other natural resources through planning, regulation, land acquisition, and tax incentive programs; to conserve lands which are significant natural areas and which qualify as “… relatively natural habitat of fish, wildlife or plants, or similar ecosystems.”

Project Background:  The Vermont Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and Stowe Land Trust worked with landowners Andre and Marthe Valcour to close on a deal to conserve nearly 30 acres of bog, wetland and agricultural land located in Morristown. This project connects the State of Vermont's Morristown Bog Natural Area with Joe's Pond, and is the first direct partnership between the two conservation organizations. Linking these two important natural areas provides contiguous habitat for wildlife and a much needed buffer for this unique bog community. The property is now owned by Andre A. Valcour (Andre and Marthe's son) and is protected by a conservation easement.

Property Description:  The Valcour property consists of 29 acres of bog and agricultural land. The 18.5 acre bog is part of an ecological complex that contains portions of Joe’s Pond to the north, and Morristown Bog Natural Area. This ecological complex, east of Route 100, together with the Molly Bog wetland complex to the west of Route 100, is a remnant of glacial Lake Champlain. At one time, these bogs were located at the edge of the lake. As the waters of the glacial lake receded, these peatlands remained.

The property contains portions of three exemplary natural communities, including an uncommon hardwood swamp, and the rare dwarf shrub bog and black spruce-tamarack woodland bog. In addition, two rare and one uncommon plant species are known to exist on the property - southern twayblade (Listera authralis), white fringed orchid (Plantanthera blepharglottis) and dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium pusillum).

The 10.6 acres to the east of the bog and wetland complex consists of a funnel-shaped agricultural field with statewide soils. The highly productive agricultural land aids in protecting the bog while also protecting its buffer from development.

Public Access:  The property, in its entirely, is available to the general public for all types of non-motorized dispersed recreational and education purposes including, but not limited to, bird watching, botanizing, cross-country skiing, fishing, hiking, hunting, snowshoeing, trapping, walking, and wildlife observation.

Access to the property is available via the existing VAST snowmobile trail (in winter); via the right of way from Gray Farm Road; via the Joe’s Pond property, which has access and signage on Stancliff Road; and via the Morristown Bog Natural Area, which has access off of Route 100.

Directions:  The Valcour property is located on Gray Farm Road in Morristown, VT. From the intersection of Route 100 and Route 108 in Stowe Village, head north on Route 100 for 3.0 miles. Turn right onto Randolph Road and travel for 1.8 miles. Turn left onto Gray Farm Road. For a Google map click here.

Alternative access via Joe’s Pond:  Joe's Pond is located just over the Stowe line in Morristown. From the intersection of Route 100 and Route 108 in Stowe Village, head north on Route 100 for 5.2 miles. Turn right onto Stancliff Road. Travel 0.5 miles down Stancliff Road until you spot the Stowe Land Trust sign on your right. There is no established parking area - visitors should park along Stancliff Road taking care not to block any driveways.  Walk through the edge of the field to the left of the Stowe Land Trust sign until you reach the treeline in order to avoid interfering with the agricultural operations.