The Vickie Bunnell Preserve is a 10,500-acre area that helps protect one of the most unusual forest habitats in the world. Known as the high-elevation spruce-fir forest, this habitat contains more rare and endangered species than any other in New Hampshire. The land also holds the highest mountain north of the White Mountain National Forest, the great Bunnell Mountain (or, Blue Mountain) which raises over 3700 ft. The preserve also contains 12 other peaks above 3000 ft and has over 28 miles of stream frontage. This combined with its many ponds and bogs, make it a beautiful place to explore and admire. Though the preserve welcomes public recreation, it no longer allows any timber harvesting.
The Vickie Bunnell Preserve was acquired in 2001 by the Nature Conservancy and is still the largest nature preserve in the state. The preserve is part of a larger 18,680-acre Bunnell Tract protection area. The Bunnell Tract land that surrounds the Vickie Bunnell Preserve, can still be managed for timber production. The area was named in memory of the former Colebrook selectman and judge, Vickie Bunnell, who tragically died in August of 1997. Vickie Bunnell frequented the area and knew the true importance of our nature’s wilderness. And now, thanks to her devoted parents and the diligence of the Nature Conservancy, the preserve will forever protect the area from development.
The preserve is open to the public for hiking, bird watching, nature study, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, hunting*, fishing, and snow-shoeing.
*Note: Hunting is allowed by permission only.
Accessing the Vickie Bunnell Preserve:
Coming from Route 3 in Columbia, take Fish Pond Road next to the Shrine. Travel about 4 miles and turn right on Jackson Rd. In 2 miles you’ll reach the dirt intersection of Bungy Road, turn right. Drive another 2 miles until you reach the gates of Columbia Road on your right.
Map of Columbia Road. Provided by Google Maps ©
Note: Access Roads close for the winter and can only be used for recreation.