The Chestnut Challenge has officially closed.

Thank you to everyone who spent time searching for American Chestnuts in the woods at Smith Pond Shaker Forest. Special thanks to our challenge winners, a team of three from Orford and Piermont, Mark Blanchard, of Orford, and his friends Peter LaBounty and Nancy Sandell, of Piermont. This group found 10 trees in a single two hour outing!

To read more about the findings of the challenge please click here.

Thank you for your interest in being involved in our Chestnut Challenge!

The Challenge is simple. In 2015 we purchased our Smith Pond Shaker Forest Conservation Area in Enfield, NH. As our Stewardship Team got to know the property and worked on the trail system we located and identified several American Chestnut Trees there. We believe there are more to be found. We are asking the public to visit our Smith Pond Shaker Forest property in Enfield and look for American Chestnut Trees. The property is accessible via a 5 mile trail network but we are also encouraging those who are comfortable navigating off trails to explore the entirety of the property.
We ask that people who are taking up the Chestnut Challenge use the iNaturalist app to document their findings. The app can be used on any smart phone or tablet in the field and can also be accessed from a desktop computer. To download the app onto your phone use the itunes store for apple devices and google play for android devices. Once you have downloaded the app please use the “how to” guide located on the right hand side bar to help you use the app on your smart phone. All observations at Smith Pond should be added to the “Smith Pond Shaker Forest Natural Resource Inventory” project. Please call or email Alison (, 603-643-6626) with any questions. We strongly suggest getting acquainted with the app before heading out in the field.
If you don’t have a smart phone or tablet you can simply take a photo of your findings with a camera or camera phone with geolocation (many newer phones and cameras have this ability automatically set) or take a regular old photo and write down the GPS coordinates. These can be uploaded to iNaturalist via the desktop interface or they can just be emailed Alison at
 If all else fails, just a photo and a description of where you were when you took it will suffice. That information can also be sent to
The person who locates the most chestnut trees in the next six weeks will win a Camelbak backpack! The challenge opened on august 29th 2018 and will close on October 15th. We will be displaying our findings from the challenge at our open house, which takes place at the end of October (date TBD).