Duren Mountain
Wilderness Preserve

In the northeastern reaches of Vermont, Duren Mountain Wilderness Preserve protects a two-acre beaver pond, Northern White Cedar Swamps, and a rewilding forest rich with wildlife.

Just across Route 102 from the Connecticut River in Guildhall, VT, lies Duren Mountain. Ducks Unlimited first acquired this 182-acre property in 2018 in support of the organization’s wetland mitigation work, which aims to offset development of state or federally regulated wetlands. Ducks Unlimited transferred the property to Northeast Wilderness Trust in June 2020 to become a forever-wild Preserve.

“Many factors led Ducks Unlimited to protect this property, including its beaver ponds that support spring breeding habitat for waterfowl like mallard, wood, and black ducks,” said Patrick Raney, Manager of Conservation Services for Ducks Unlimited. “This land is an intact, forested buffer to the Connecticut River. A high-quality Northern White Cedar Swamp, and the presence of abutting protected lands also made this property a good fit for protection.”

Many factors led Ducks Unlimited to protect this property, including its beaver ponds that support spring breeding habitat for waterfowl like mallard, wood, and black ducks.

Patrick Raney, Ducks Unlimited Manager of Conservation Services

Duren Mountain is home to an impressive range of wildlife. An active, two-acre beaver pond is home to diverse plants and birds. Since DU placed game cameras on the property in 2019, moose, bear, coyote, and bobcat have all been seen wandering the land. Ruffed grouse and snowshoe hare are also abundant in the dense, young hardwoods that have regrown since the last timber harvest in 2006 on the lower elevations of the property. A Northern White Cedar Swamp, which is a globally uncommon type of wetland, occupies more than 50 acres.

This new Wilderness Preserve adds to a sizeable protected corridor near the Connecticut River, which is considered a critical wildlife area. It is flanked by properties protected by Vermont Land Trust.

Vermont Conservation Design, a report by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, calls for 9% of the state’s forestland to be old forest. Duren Mountain is one of several wilderness areas protected by Northeast Wilderness Trust that contribute to this goal.

Duren Mountain Wilderness Preserve will be open for quiet, non-motorized (on-foot) recreation like hiking, hunting by permission, nature study, and birdwatching. To apply for hunting permission, click here.

American beaver and Wood Duck by Paul Willis.