Cyclists, walkers and runners have a new spot to savor the beauty of the Great Wenham Swamp with the placement of a Greenbelt bench near an entrance to the swamp along the Rail Trail that runs from Boxford through Topsfield, Wenham, Danvers to Peabody.
A 26-acre parcel in Leach’s Swamp in Wenham was donated to Greenbelt many years ago by Harvey and Jean Lewis of Danvers.
Leach’s Swamp was the location of a sighting of the extremely rare Showy Lady’s Slipper which grows in wetlands and swamps.
Showy Lady’s Slippers are the tallest native northern orchid, and many believe they are the most stunning.
The Showy Lady’s Slipper is listed as endangered by MassWildlife's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program. There may have been fewer than five sightings in recent years in the entire state.
The property was Greenbelt’s first Wenham acquisition. From the bench, a walk along the boardwalk takes visitors on a one-third of a mile walk through the swamp, where during warmer weather turtles can be seen sunning themselves on logs and water snakes are easily seen.