Interstate 85 Corridor, Colonial Village
All of our preserves tell tales of resiliency, but none more so than Beaver Marsh. This thirty-two-acre preserve is a tranquil gem hidden among parking lots and superstores. Adjacent to the Northgate Park and Colonial Village neighborhoods, the preserve is home to turtles, river otters, and an active beaver lodge. It’s also a migratory layover for waterfowl and home to ten species each of dragon and damselflies. This is a popular site for local residents, especially birders and anyone who appreciates wetland wildlife.
The Story of Beaver Marsh Preserve
The land for this preserve was acquired in 2009 by ECWA through a "bargain sale" by former Duke University and Green Bay Packers quarterback Anthony Dilweg and a grant from the North Carolina Land and Water Fund, known as the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund at the time. A wetland area that protects Falls Lake, a drinking water source for over 425,000 people, Beaver Marsh is a key link in our goal of creating a chain of preserves and trails for walking and biking from downtown to Falls Lake. Here, our Preserve Stewards are truly a voice for wildlife that would otherwise be threatened by encroaching development. Currently, they are working to complete the preserve trail circuit, install new signs, and build a wildlife viewing platform.
Located in one of downtown Durham’s gateways, the site has a diverse array of native plants, over 75 species of migratory and resident birds, 10 species each of dragon and damsel flies, and five species of frogs. In the center of the pond is a large active beaver lodge!
Unsurprisingly, Beaver Marsh has long been a treasured location for local residents and a popular destination of birders from throughout the Triangle region. ECWA members, community groups, and local residents have held dozens of clean-ups at the site.
Plan Your Visit
Opening Hours: Dawn to dusk year-round.
Address: 3400 Ambridge Street, Durham, NC 27704
Directions & Parking:
From East Club Boulevard / Ambridge Street: If you’re looking to hike along the trails, this entrance is your best bet. Turn south onto Ambridge Street from East Club Boulevard and park in the cul-de-sac at the end of the street. From there you’ll see an ECWA kiosk and markers for the Blueberry and the Bird and Creekside Connector Trail.
From East Club Boulevard / Cascadilla Street: This entrance is directly behind Big Lots at the end of Cascadilla Street, with parking located between Big Lots and Harbor Freight. Here, you’ll find a viewing bench located right in front of the active beaver lodge! Watch birds fly in and keep your eye out for the beavers who swim to and from their lodge at dawn and dusk each day.
Durham Public Bus
The closest stop to the Cascadilla Street entrance is #5868/#5992 on Route 9A/B at the corner of Cascadilla Street and East Club Boulevard. Walk south on Cascadilla Street behind the shopping center and you will see the preserve on your left. The closest stop to the Ambridge Street entrance is #5475 on Route 9A/B at the corner of Stephenson Street and East Club Boulevard.
Much work remains to be done to make the Beaver Marsh all that it can be.