Most of this 151 hectare (370 acre) preserve, located beside Shea Lake in Victoria County, is made up of fen and bog. The Nature Trust currently leases this area from Acadian Timber who owns this property. We are fortunate to have individuals in management at Acadian Timber GP Inc. who recognize the importance of preserving this special area.
Shea Lake was the first area to receive protection by the Nature Trust. The ecological richness of the site was first identified by Erwin Landauer, an amateur botanist from Plaster Rock. He informed Dr. Mary Majka, a member of the NB Environmental Council at the time, of the areas diverse flora, fauna and wildlife populations and she used this information to request the Fraser Company, who owned the land, to set it aside for preservation. Following many discussions, a 5-year lease with options for renewal was signed in June 1988 between Fraser Inc. and the Nature Trust for an area of 88 hectares.
It was renewed in 1993 for another 5 year period and in March 1994, a revision to increase the area by 63.5 hectares was made. This lease has been extended by the new owners of the preserve, Acadian Timber.
Rich in over 17 different species of orchid, the Shea Lake Preserve is also the site of the rare Lapland buttercup (Ranunculus lapponicus) and a fine hemlock stand. There is also an old growth hemlock and cedar tree forest where the rare diminutive Venus’ slipper-orchid (Calypso bulbosa) can be found in the ground flora.
There are very few areas in New Brunswick that can be found with such a rich variety of rare plant species.
Access and Activities
This preserve is only accessible by hiking an old bush road from Longley Road, 4-5 km south-east of Plaster Rock. As the area is often very wet, appropriate footwear and clothing should be worn. This rough trail then extends 650 m to Shea Lake itself.
*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.