The New Hampshire Audubon’s Alice Bemis Thompson Wildlife Sanctuary covers approximately 300 acres and is considered a critical wildlife habitat. A variety of wildlife can be viewed here year round, as the property itself is diverse and offers habitat for both wetland and woodland creatures.
Atwood Brook is surrounded by open marshland and meadows where you might observe a beaver heading back to its lodge. Listen to the flowing water and birds chirping all around as you make your way to the viewing area at the end of the 300-foot boardwalk, which provides a 360-degree view of the marshlands as well as the Sandwich Range and Ossippee Mountains.
In the spring and summer, frogs and birds are abundant. Keep an eye out for bald eagles, heron, osprey, merlin, American bitterns, marsh and sedge wrens, red-winged blackbirds, warblers, swallows, and woodpeckers. Moose, black bear, deer, bobcat, and members of the weasel family can be observed feeding near the tree line and in the meadows. Even in winter, tracks in the snow let you know the wildlife is still around and active.
There is very limited off-road parking at the trailhead and a large interpretive sign with information about the preserve. The Fred Steele Memorial Trail is wheelchair-accessible, making this a great stop for people of all ages and abilities. The trail is short and flat, with wildflowers and interpretive signs identifying tree species along the way. A forever-wild easement ensures the protection of this land for generations to come.