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D.R. Henne Memorial & Shunock Brook Preserves / property details / get directions / trail map

This is a very special area of several habitats, but the wetlands and big swamp are what make it the most unique. It is home to many kinds of birds and provides habitat for reptiles, amphibians, and mammals too. Take some time to stop along the way and just look and listen. There is lots to photograph. Sometimes beavers and their work can be noted, but not always.

You may see turtles sunning on the rocks and logs in the warm seasons. Birds’ nests can be found in the bushes during the winter when the leaves are off the trees.

Total Hike & Seek Targets: 6

Don’t forget to take photos of your finds and share on Instagram with #myavalonia or email to!


NEST of STICKS up high over the swamp

These are the nests of great blue herons and when groups of them nest in the same area it is called a rookery.

stick nest


When beavers flooded the valley, many trees died. The trees made great places for woodpeckers to make nesting holes. Several kinds of woodpeckers live here, and tree swallows use the holes that woodpeckers make too.

holes in tree


Beavers are important shapers of the habitat here. When they dammed up the stream, the flooding created the marsh. Trees died to create snags for other birds to live in. The deeper water invited other wildlife like turtles, frogs, fish and different birds like ducks and geese. Look around and see if you can spot their dam and their hut or lodge out in the water. Along the trails you may see trees, even big ones, that they have chewed on with their long, sharp front teeth to cut down.

beaver hut

chewed trees


You will find yourself walking up and along the top of a ridge which is a glacial deposit of gravel and small stones. This is an esker and forms part of the boundary of the entire swamp area. Take time to read the sign up here and think how the glaciers helped create this area many thousands of years ago.

glacial esker