Those straight cuts of those alders could have only been done by a human. That trail is too wide and level to have been made by an animal. The irregular waterways cutting through the marshlands surrounding Basin Pond must be a vestige of the geological history of the area.
These are the things I believed. Now, I am no longer so sure.
After doing some reading and going back again to look at some of these areas, I am thinking that a singular creature, Castor canadensis, the American beaver, may be responsible for these phenomena.
Lots more learning to come. The photos below are of the multi-channeled waterways that cut through the marshlands surrounding Basin Pond,