Overview

Caughey-Taylor Nature Preserve is a 240 hectare (600 acre) preserve stretching along Taggart’s Brook and marsh, surrounding Sam Orr’s Pond, to Birch Cove and Berry Point on Bocabec Bay, part of the Bay of Fundy. It is 12 km north-east of St. Andrews on Hwy 127.

History

The preserve is named after both Judge Earl Caughey and Garfield Taylor. It features Sam Orr’s Pond and Taggarts Brook. Sam Orr’s Pond was originally owned by Sam Orr, who was born in the late 1860’s. Caughey-Taylor is a testimony to the collaborative generosity of several private landowners. Donations of land came from Owen and Sheila Washburn (1998), Gene Sharp (1999), and Ms. Washburn and her brother, Michael Caughey (2001). Expansions to the preserve was added to the preserve in a joint effort between the Nature Trust and Nature Conservancy of Canada (2009-2010).

In 2014, Caughey-Taylor Nature Preserve received designation as a Class II Protected Natural Area (PNA) under the province of New Brunswick’s PNA Act, providing the land with additional protection, including subsurface materials. For more information about PNAs, click here.

Ecology

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This preserve, near Bocabec, encompasses the famous Sam Orr’s Pond, a brackish pond created from glacial movements 30,000 years ago. Two sills of hard basaltic rock form a dam between the pond and the ocean. There are actually two ponds. The tide comes into the lower (outer) pond some of the time while the upper pond (inner) only receives salt water at very high tides. The pond is a unique combination of salt and fresh water and, because it is shallow, remains relatively warm compared to other brackish ponds in the area. This is the only habitat along the Bay of Fundy where quahog (Mercenari amercenaria) are found. It also plays host to assemblages of plants and animals found nowhere else on this coastline.

The hills surrounding Sam Orr’s Pond were originally covered with local climactic vegetation of spruce, fir, cedar, beech, maple and birch. Today, there is a considerable second growth that has overgrown fields and clear cuts. The surrounding marsh supports dense populations of grasses and marsh plants. Wigeon sea grass, Ruppia marina and Zostera marina are the dominant pond plants while Fucus vesiculosus and Enteromorpha sp. are common in the rapids. Enteromorpha dominates the isolated ponds in the marsh.

Access and Activities

The preserve is located on the eastern shore of Birch Cove, approximately 12 km north of St. Andrews, NB on Route 127. It can be accessed via marked trails on both sides of Route 127. Parking is found at the south trailhead parking lot. Sam Orr’s Pond trail begins at the eastern-most end of the road guardrail. This trail winds around scenic Sam Orr’s Pond, over rocky bluffs, through mixed Acadian forest, and along Birch Cove and the Passamaquoddy Bay. The Sam Orr’s Pond Trail highlights the best of Charlotte County’s diverse landscapes.

The Taggarts Brook and Chickahominy Mountain trail begins from the north side of the road directly across from the Sam Orr’s Pond Trail. Both trail entrances are clearly marked. The gated private driveway to the west of the marsh should not be used to access the preserve.

There is an extensive hiking system in this preserve, spanning 9.6 km, although no camping, hunting, trapping or logging is permitted.

*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.