Bingham Pond (on the Taconic Plateau)
Salisbury, Litchfield County, CT


From the Route 44 east New York/Connecticut state border at Millerton, New York set the odometer to 0:  at 2.0 miles is Lakeville, at 2.7 miles is the Holley House; at 3.9 miles is Salisbury center; and at 4.2 miles is Factory Street on the left.

In downtown Salisbury, from Route 44 heading north, turn left onto Factory Street (just before the town hall and diagonally across from the library. Set the odometer to 0. At 0.7 of a mile take the left fork in the road onto Mt. Riga Road. At 1.2 miles the road turns to a dirt/gravel road. At 2.9 miles stop for a waterfall picture. At 3.6 miles reach the Castinook Beach Club (Private Beach). Turn left here onto Mount Washington Road. At 4.7 stopped at Bingham Pond. Just enough space for one or maybe two cars. There is a larger parking area at 5.7 miles.


Dedicated a National Natural Landmark in May 1973.


black spruce bog (an extremely rare, undisturbed cold Northern spruce bog)

an extremely rare undisturbed cold Northern spruce bog atypical due to the lack of sphagnum moss as a component of the floating mat on the bog.

"We pass Bingham Pond, the highest pond in the State, with a quaking bog, characteristic bog plants, and fine specimens of black spruce, tamarack, cassandra and mountain ash." (The Connecticut Guide, 1935)

Examples of the extremely fragile and easily destroyed black spruce bogs (with a luxuriant cover of mosses, black spruce and larch) include Bingham Pond in Salisbury, Spectacle Pond in Kent, and  Black and Spruce Bog atop Mohawk Mountain in Cornwall . (Source: The Housatonic Valley Association: The Housatonic River Watershed;


Here is a leather leaf bog. There is a short walk down through mountain laurel to the lake area. Then you have to walk through a shrub swamp (rhododendrons, leatherleaf and chokeberry) to get to the pond edge. Here you see lots of sphagnum moss, lambskill, cranberry, and, of course, lots of leatherleaf.

4/12-14/14. We stayed at the Wake Robin Inn in Lakeville for this trip. The Inn was originally a private girl's school (opened in 1896).  In 1911 it became an Inn and has stayed an Inn ever since. We met one of the new owners, both are from Chicago, Michael Loftus. He is a very pleasant fellow and very personable. The room was very nice and clean. The grounds are very pretty with 11 acres (retention of land around an inn getting to be a rarity these days). Breakfast was included and they were delicious: a cheesy keisch and Irish soda bread with strawberry jam Saturday morning and on Sunday pancakes with fresh strawberries on top. In the future, the owners plan to sponsor some nature programs which could tie in with botanical visits to the area. Website at:

8/05/2005.  First day of a 3 day vacation with the family in Salisbury.  This is the first place we stopped.  I quickly learned that from this point and in this season, the area is almost impenetrable.  The area was quite wet with some areas where your feet really descend into a black, terrible smelling mire.  And there were high bush blueberry plants everywhere.  The place was like a maze.  You could find what looked like an opening into the shrub swamp, but it would only take you a short distance before being blocked off by vegetation.  I tried various entry points but to no avail.  And it was hot.  So I did not spend that long of a time before giving up.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.  

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney, April 13 & 14, 2002
including plants on the roads up to the hiking place & Bingham Pond
* indicates plants found in bloom

#  = blooming on date of field trip, 8/05/2005

Acer pensylvanicum (striped maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple) *
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula papyrifera (white birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Picea mariana (black spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Populus sp. (aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Alnus sp. (alder)
Aronia sp. (chokeberry)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf) *
Corylus cornuta (beaked hazel)
Epigaea repens (trailing arbutus)
Gaultheria procumbens (checkerberry)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Kalmia angustifolia (lambkill)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) -- lots
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Myrica gale (sweetgale)?
Rhododendron viscosum (swamp azalea)?
Ribes sp. (gooseberry) very small thorny plant
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix discolor (pussy willow) *
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)?
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet)     #
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)  -- scads of them
Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) -- Bingham Pond
Vaccinium sp. (a low bush blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum alnifolium (hobblebush)
Viburnum dentatum (smooth arrowwood viburnum)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)

Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Anemone virginiana (thimbleweed)
Apocynum sp. (dogbane)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arctium minus (common burdock)
Aster acuminatus (sharp-leaved aster)    #soon
Campanula americana (tall bellflower)     #
Cardamine diphylla (broad-leaved toothwort)
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)     #
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)     #
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)     #
Coronilla varia (crown vetch)     #
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)      #
Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman's breeches)
Epipactis helleborine (helleborine orchid)
Epilobium coloratum (purple-leaved willowherb)     #
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane)     #
Eupatorium maculatum (spotted Joe-Pye weed)     #
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot)
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)
Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)
Galium sp. (bedstraw)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Geum laciniatum (rough avens)
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily)
Hieracium paniculatum (panicled hawkweed)     #
Hypericum perfoliatum (common St. Johnswort)   #
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)     #
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)
Medeola virginiana (Indian cucumberroot)
Melampyrum lineare (cow wheat)     #
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover)     #
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)     #
Pedicularis canadensis (wood betony)
Potentilla sp. (cinquefoil)
Prenanthes trifoliolata (tall rattlesnake root)     #
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)     #
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan)     #
Rumex obtusifolius (broad-leaved dock)
Sedum telephioides (garden sedum)
Solidago gigantea (late goldenrod)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Triadenum virginicum (marsh St. Johnswort)     #
Trillium grandiflorum (large-flowered trillium)     ?
Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot) *
Veratrum viride (swamp hellebore)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Zizia aurea (golden Alexanders)

Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex crinita (fringed sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Dulichium arundinaceum (three-way sedge)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark green bulrush)

Elymus sp. (wild rye grass)
Setaria viridis (green foxtail grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Lycopodium obscurum (ground pine clubmoss)
Dryopteris sp. (woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Polypodium sp. (rock cap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)

Sphagnum sp. (sphagnum moss)

Received the following e-mail on Bingham Pond, April, 2003.


I came across your NY-NJ-CT Botany site and noticed a plant list and trip
summary to a location called Bingham Pond in northwestern CT. This site
happens to be one of the 56 National Natural Landmarks (NNLs) in New
England, among hundreds nationwide. NNLs are an attempt by the National
Park Service and participating land owners to identify and recognize the
best examples of biological and geological features of the United States.
Part of my job with the National Park Service is to promote and administer
the National Natural Landmarks Program in the Northeast, so I wanted to let
you know about the program, Bingham Pond's status as a NNL, and encourage
you to learn more by visiting the website for the NNL Program at

Thanks for your interest in preserving and enjoying your local natural
areas! Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.


Marc Albert
Natural Resources and Science
National Park Service Northeast Region
15 State St., Boston, MA 02109
617-223-5170 (phone) 617-223-5097 (fax)

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