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Oyster River Forest and Spruce Hole Conservation Area

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The Oyster River Forest and Spruce Hole Bog properties boast beautiful woods, fields, floodplain, and unique wetland habitats.
Trail Activity
2.9 miles, Network
Durham (NH)
Packed Earth/Dirt


The 172--acre Oyster River Forest and 42-acre Spruce Hole Bog conservation areas are owned by the Town of Durham.

Oyster River Forest-Spruce Hole Bog Trail Map-pdf

Looking for a short walk? A 0.6-mile round trip universally accessible trail takes people of all abilities to an overlook of the unique Spruce Hole Bog.

Looking for a longer excursion? Follow the Oyster River Trail to the Oyster River Bridge in UNH College Woods. This 3.5 mile round trip trail passes through an oak-pine forest, a restored meadow and shrub habitat, then winds through the forest along the Oyster River. Side trails lead along historic stonewalls, past an old foundation, and under huge white oak, shagbark hickory, and pitch pine trees.

The two conservation areas abut each other and are bounded by Mill Road and Packers Falls Road to the south, Durham's Spruce Hole well site and solar array to the west, Oyster River to the north, Brookdale Senior Living to the south and east, and UNH College Woods to to the northeast.

The Oyster River Trail passes through a 60-acre area bordering the Oyster River that is managed as meadow, shrub and young forest habitat to benefit songbirds, bumblebees, monarch butterflies and other native pollinators, the state endangered New England cottontail rabbit, among other wildlife. Funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and a partnership with NH Fish and Game and the Rockingham County Conservation District, has enabled the Town to remove and control a severe infestation of invasive shrubs and restore a mix of native shrubs, wildflowers, and trees.

Trail Manager

For more information, contact the Town of Durham:

Town of Durham Conservation Commission
Conservation Commission
8 Newmarket Road
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: (603)868-5571
View website

Trail Tips

Plan Ahead and Prepare
Be prepared to find your way home. Familiarize yourself with the area before you set out and bring your map and compass along.

Trailhead Information

There are two ways to reach the parking area, off Packers Falls Road:

  • From Route 155A (Mast Road) turn onto Packer's Falls Road. Follow Packer's Falls Road to the corner of Mill Road, about 1.2 miles. The parking lot is on your left, just before Mill Road. Here you will see the entrance sign and information kiosk.
  • From downtown Durham, take Mill Road all the way to the end (approximately 2.5 miles). Turn right onto Packers Falls Road. Parking area is immediately on your right.
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