White Cedar Swamp Trailwalk

White Cedar Swamp TrailAbout the Area

  • Facilities:
    • Parking for a couple of cars
    • No toilet facilities
  • Features: According to Professor Glenn Motzkin in his 2009 report, The Wilbraham Atlantic-White Cedar Swamp, "The White Cedar Swamp in Wilbraham, Massachusetts is the best example of a cedar wetland in the Connecticut Valley, supporting several white cedar stands as well as rare or uncommon species. In addition to extensive forested wetlands, the site includes a small cedar bog and an open wetland where Atlantic white cedar is associated with species typically found in calcareous wetlands. This is the only documented occurrence of such an association in Massachusetts...Cedar wetlands in Springfield, Hampden, and Ludlow are small and highly disturbed by human activity. Thus, the Wilbraham White Cedar Swamp represents the most extensive and highest quality cedar wetland in the Connecticut Valley, and is of regional and statewide conservation significance." There are cedar trees in the cedar swamp area, but the highest concentration exist in the forested areas of the Alton's Way Trail
  • Activities Permitted: All passive recreational activities are permitted. Please be careful not to leave litter and not to deface the property. Please park in designated areas and be respectful of neighborhoods in the area.
    • Hiking
    • Cross-country skiing / snowshoeing
    • Educational studies
    • Nature observation
  • Length of Trail: It is less than one half mile from Decorie Drive to the actual swamp. The cedar bog and stands of white cedar trees are approximately one and a half to two miles out from Decorie Drive down the Alton's Way Trail. There are numerous spur trails that meander off in different directions. Some take you back to your original position; others are dead ends. These trails are worth exploring. However, as they offer some breathtaking scenery.
  • Types of Surfaces: The main trail is leaf covered and flat. Wet areas spring up, quickly after any rainfall. Be aware of ticks and mosquitoes. Visiting in the winter, in early spring or in late fall is suggested.
  • Location: This trail is located at the end of Decorie Drive in Wilbraham, Massachusetts.
  • Elevation Factors: The entire course is flat going from an elevation of 245 feet to 290 feet in places.
  • Directions: From the monument in the center of Wilbraham on Main Street, head out towards Boston Road. After a mile, take a left onto Decorie Drive. The road winds around for about a half of a mile until it comes to a cul-de-sac. At the cul-de-sac there is space for a couple of cars only. The "White Cedar Swamp" sign pictured above is at the entrance to the trail.
  • Map: View the map (PDF).

Hiking Directions

1042° 07.999 N072° 26.628 WThis waypoint is the entrance to the White Cedar Swamp at the end of Decorie Drive in Wilbraham.
2042° 07.976 N072° 26.757 WThis is the Y junction. Hiking to the left takes you out to the Cedar Swamp. Hiking to the right takes you out to the Hayfields / McDonald Trail.
3042° 07.866 N072° 26.865 WThis is the way point for the end of the left White Cedar Trail. The end is a loop that skirts the swamp and offers views of the wetlands.
4042° 07.961 N072° 26.804 WThis way point is the first wet crossing on the right leg of the White Cedar Trail heading out to the Alton's Way Trail.
5042° 07.946 N072° 26.869 WThis way point is the second wet crossing on the right leg of the White Cedar Trail heading out to the Alton's Way Trail. It requires some log balancing in order to cross without getting wet.
6042° 07.947 N072° 26.905 WThis is the first exit to the Alton's Way Trail.
7042° 07.908 N072° 26.971 WThis is the second exit to the Alton's Way Trail.
8042° 08.344 N072° 26.481 WThis is the lower stand of cedar along the Alton's Way Trail.
9042° 08.489 N072° 26.377 WThis is the higher stand of cedar along the Alton's Way Trail.
10042° 08.170 N072° 26.535 WThis is the cedar bog area.
11042° 07.725 N072° 26.813 WThis is the shore of the cedar swamp on the Wilbraham-Monson side.

Note: The best vistas from the town of Wilbraham land come in the winter and late fall when the ground is hard and the bugs aren't flying, but the foliage is best in the summer and early fall.