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Silk Farm Sanctuary

Silk-Farm-Trail-MapDownload the Silk Farm Trail Guide
Bird Checklist for Silk Farm Sanctuary


Visit Google Maps to see 84 Silk Farm Rd. Concord, NH and get directions.

A Little History…

In 1835, a silk farm was set up on an area of land close to what is now the Silk Farm Audubon Center. Several hundred mulberry trees were planted, and silk was produced for a short time. However, the project was unsuccessful and was abandoned after only a few years.

Trail Information

Forest Floor Trail

Red markers
.4 miles, approximately 15 minutes
This short, easy walk is through a forest dominated by white pine carpeted with hundreds of wildflowers in the spring and summer. Pink lady’s slipper, starower, and fringed polygala can be found, as well as Canada mayower, which is often in among wintergreen and partridge berry.
The Sanctuary is home to many woodland birds: the ovenbird and black-and-white warbler both nest here, and black-capped chickadees, white- and red-breasted nuthatches, and tufted titmice can be found in the woods. Towards the end of the Forest Floor Trail, you will come to a junction. You can continue to follow the red markers back to the Silk Farm Audubon Center or take the yellow-marked trail down to Great Turkey Pond.

Great Turkey Pond Trail

Yellow markers
1.2 miles, approximately 55 minutes
This trail takes you on a varied walk to Great Turkey Pond. After about 100 yards, the trail takes a sharp left. Where the path starts to
slope down, you enter a mixed hardwood forest. A short while later, the trail leads you along the edge of a wet area and continues down to
and along the shore of Great Turkey Pond to the edge of the open water. This pond is home to many species of waterbirds, both as a migration
stopping-o point and as a breeding area. At least 60 breeding bird species have been recorded here (a bird checklist is available at the Center). From the boardwalk, follow the trail through oak woodlands back to the Silk Farm Audubon Center.

Old Orchard Trail

Blue markers
1 mile, 45 minutes
This trail takes you through several dierent habitats, making it the best trail for birding, especially during spring and fall migration. As soon as the trail leaves the Great Turkey Pond Trail, there is a very short spur trail to an overlook onto an open field. To the right is an old hedgerow. Hedgerows are an important habitat for wildlife, providing cover, food, and nesting sites. Soon the trail passes through an area that is almost entirely white pine. This area was once eld; white pine is a common “pioneer” species in newly reforested areas. After a sharp turn to the right, you enter a hardwood forest. Notice the shrubby understory, which has been “invaded” by two non-native invasive species: Japanese honeysuckle and Japanese barberry. A native plant, Jack-in-the-pulpit, with its red berries in late summer and unique spring owers, is also abundant here. Another right turn brings you to an old orchard. (Watch for poison ivy!) Milkweed can be found here, so look for butterflies in summer and fall. Fall is also a good time to look for signs of wildlife that come to feed on the apples. Abundant grapes and berry bushes make this an excellent place for fall birding. The trail gradually descends through a wet forest and reaches Great Turkey Pond. Turn left. As you follow the pond’s shore, look for vernal pools – wet depressions in spring that are breeding areas for salamanders and frogs – that are on the opposite side of the trail from the pond. The trail eventually meets up with the Great Turkey Pond Trail and returns to the Center through oak woodlands.

Visitor Information

  1. Only foot travel is permitted in the sanctuary. No horses, bicycles, or motor vehicles are allowed.
  2. Swimming, camping, hunting, and trapping are prohibited. Picnicking is allowed, but fires are not.
  3. Please keep to the marked trails and do not collect or in any way disturb any plants or animals in this sanctuary.
  4. Please respect private property.
  5. No pets are allowed in the sanctuary.
  6. Please carry out all trash and litter.
  7. Be prepared for country walking.

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About Us

Founded in 1914, NH Audubon’s mission is to protect New Hampshire’s natural environment for wildlife and for people. It is an independent statewide membership organization with four nature centers throughout the state. Expert educators give programs to children, families, and adults at centers and in schools. Staff biologists and volunteers conduct bird conservation efforts such as the Peregrine Falcon restoration. NH Audubon protects thousands of acres of wildlife habitat and is a voice for sound public policy on environmental issues. For information on NH Audubon, including membership, volunteering, programs, sanctuaries, and publications, call 224-9909, or visit