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Posts Tagged ‘Sackett & Van Haelewyn Preserves’

Located in north Wilton, along Ridgefield Road, these three parcels join to form one large nature preservation area (about 77 acres). Several trails extend into the three areas so it’s easy to travel through all of them on a single visit. As with many areas of this size, there is a basic loop trail (orange and white in this case) with options and cross trails available to add variety and shorten/lengthen any given walk.

OTH entered from Ridgefield Road and parked in the designated area. Flipping a mental coin, he began the loop hike in a counterclockwise direction which took him almost immediately up a small grade and across a ridge. In this elevated terrain, there was little underbrush and the tall timber gave it a real eastern woodlands feel.

Orange Trail Crossing a Bedrock Ridge

Orange Trail Crossing a Bedrock Ridge

Leaving the ridge, the orange trail dropped down into a wetlands area, crossing a wooden bridge over a small steam. As he approached the bridge, OTH saw two large birds high in the trees. They may have been hawks, but he feels they might have been owls. There was too much foliage and the birds were moving too quickly to get a good look. Later OTH will show you a different bird that isn’t so hard to see, or photograph.

The blaze color changed to white after the bridge with a choice of a longer or shorter route. OTH choose the shorter distance because he had another walk to make that afternoon (pressure to complete the 12 hikes in the Town Walk in the Woods contest).   One of the interesting sights along this section was this rock face. Not being a geologist, OTH cannot tell you what kind of rock made up this outcropping. OTH continued the loop and finished the walk back at the Ridgefield Road entrance.

Large Rock Face on White Trail

Large Rock Face on White Trail

As mentioned above, there are many options available in this combination of three preserves. In addition to the trail options, the hiker will walk through open woods populated by tall hardwoods and pass through wetlands filled with various shrubs and often red maples. There is some up and down walking but nothing too strenuous. There probably is around 2.5 miles of trail available in the three preserves. When you go here, be sure to retrieve both of the available descriptions and trail maps from the Wilton Conservation Commission web site (see below).

Oh yes, the other bird. Actually there were five other birds, turkeys roaming the field near the parking area. They really are BIG birds when you get close to them.

Turkey in Sackett Preserve

Turkey in Sackett Preserve

For more information visit Sackett and Marble/Van Haelewyn-Richards Preserves.

10 down, 2 more to go.

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