Pickerel Pond Nature Preserve
Maquapit Lake, Queens County
Pickerel Pond Preserve consists of 78 hectares (191 acres) adjacent to Maquapit Lake in Queen’s County.
Historically, the area was known as Estabrooks Farm which was in operation until the middle of the last century. This farm produced some of the earliest vegetables in the area because of the relatively mild climate and gravelly soils. Remnants of the farm can be seen in the split rail fences which are still visable in the regenerating birch and aspen forest.
This preserve was donated to the Nature Trust in 1993 by nine anonymous donors.
The features of this preserve include the outstanding biodiversity and the complex ecology which consists of three distinct ecosystems. The first is a sandspit (a raised sand and gravel bank) penetrated at one point by a 20ft wide channel between a keyhole lake and Maquapit Lake. Next, there is a marsh with a gradation of plants, situated dependent on the moisture of the ground. The marsh grades gradually into a lowland forest. Finally, the forest area shows mass diversity, consisting of relatively undisturbed areas and of bush land growing on abandoned fields.
The species are characteristic of the lakes region of southern New Brunswick. The mossy-cup oak, the swamp milkweed, and rare sedges as well as the rare halberd-leaved tear thumb are all present. The site is on a major bird migration route where black ducks and Canada geese frequent the pond. The marsh and pond provide favourable habitat for the amphibian population. The Nature Trust has carried out a careful field survey of this site including mapping, transects, and ecological zone descriptions, with a listing of plant species, some animal species, and photographs.
Access and Activities
The property may be accessed by boat from the causeway on Route 690 which has public access. Walking along the beach is permitted but walking in other areas is not suitable. ATVs should not be used on the beach or other parts of the preserve.
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*The property is undeveloped and there are a variety of hazards and risks associated with accessing this preserve. While this nature preserve is open for public access, visitors must assume responsibility for their own actions and safety and are to use the land at their own risk.*