Overview

This 16.89-hectare (41.74 acre) preserve has extensive wetland habitat and forms part of the Carding Mill Brook tributary of the Miramichi River.

History

The Dolan family donated the Dolan Woodlands Nature Preserve for permanent protection in 2018. John (Doolan) Dolan, at age 15, arrived in the Miramichi from Ireland with his father, mother and younger brother, Thomas, in 1830. The family lived on Beaubears Island for the first 20 years of their new life, originally working in the shipbuilding industry.  

John purchased this woodlot in 1845. The deed reads in part, "From Jane Beckwith (wife of late James Beckwith) and children to John Doolan for 13 pounds" and being "part of original lot granted by letters patent 1 September 1819".  Five years later, in 1850, John proposed to and married Julia Bohan. 

As was typical at the time, the woodlot would have been purchased for the purpose of harvesting lumber and firewood. Throughout the years, the Dolans have been wise stewards of this land by harvesting only what was needed and enjoying the surrounding nature.  Over the years, it would become a touchstone for the many members of this family, most of whom have relocated, because “a visit home would not be considered complete without at least one trip to the woodlot”.  In making this donation, the intentions of John’s descendants' are threefold: to honour their ancestors' courageous decision made in 1830 and acknowledge the hard work and hardships that followed,  to ensure the lands will be conserved and to give back to the community a gift, that will be enjoyed for generations to come.

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Ecology

The extensive network of wetlands, including forested wetlands provide habitat for many species including highbush cranberry, rattlesnake root, wild cucumber, mountain holly, rose-twisted stalk, rhododendron, and hawthorn.  

The mixed forest is rich with white ash, pin cherry, Eastern white cedar, white spruce, aspen, white birch, balsam fir, larch, and red maple. This habitat supports wildlife including mallard, brook trout, moose, deer, beaver, raccoon, wood thrush, and green frog.

Access and Activities

This preserve protects land where some of the Miramichi Ski Club’s cross-country ski trails are, which can be accessed at 131 Nelson St, Miramichi.

There is no parking available at the Dolan Woodlands Nature Preserve; however, it can also be accessed by the Transport Canada trail that intersects the preserve. It is also possible to access the preserve by an ATV trail that crosses the Sutton Road.

*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.

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