Archive for the ‘ ~LEDYARD CT~ ’ Category

Sawmill Park Pond – Ledyard

This beautiful roadside attraction offers a short walk under a half mile long around a picturesque pond. The property has a historical sawmill, a dam and waterfall, and a bridge at each end of the pond to complete the loop. Though a short walk, you could spend a bit of time here taking photographs of yesteryear.

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Sawmill and Bridge

Colonel Ledyard Park – Ledyard

  • Colonel Ledyard Park
  • Blonder Boulevard, Ledyard, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°26’0.58″N, 72° 0’11.74″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 30, 2022
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.6 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

                                                                            

 

This recreational facility offers a mile and half loop trail behind the tennis courts. The trail first dips down into a valley crossing a stream at a wooden bridge. Shortly after the bridge the trail splits. Continue straight here and follow the trail slightly uphill. It will make a couple of left turns along the way passing boulders here and there. There will also be an old homestead to the left featuring and old foundation, well, and stone walls. The trail then crosses a stream at the “double bridge”. The trail ends shortly thereafter. Turn right here and retrace your steps back to the tennis courts.

 

 

Trail map can be found at: Colonel Ledyard Park

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Stream Crossing at Blue Blazed Trail

Pike Marshall Preserve – Ledyard

  • Pike Marshall Preserve
  • Lambtown Road, Ledyard, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°24’46.12″N, 71°59’23.93″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 30, 2022
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.9 miles
  • Easy with some elevation.

                                                                            

 

From a parking area alongside Lambtown Road you will find a small yellow “Nature Sanctuary” sign at the trail head. Following the trail you will start to see blue blazes. The first part of this hike follows the trail in a valley flanked to the right by a towering ledge. The trail slightly turns to the right and climbs up and over a hill. You will find several mountain laurel shrubs along the way. You will soon come to an intersection. Stay to the right here and almost immediately you will come to another intersection. Continue straight following the blue blazes. The trail then approaches a fence line. To the right is a faded trail that leads to a spring. (We did not find it at the time of this hike). Continuing ahead on the blue blazed trail, it veers to the left keeping a couple equine friend to your right. The trail then comes to a beautiful spot where a small bridge crosses a stream by a large outcrop of glacial remains. Take a moment here and enjoy before retracing your steps back to the first intersection. Here follow the blue blazes to the right. The trail descends and crosses the stream in the valley before making a significant climb uphill. The remainder of the trail towers over the valley to the left before descending sharply to the parking area.

 

 

Trail map can be found at: Pike Marshall Preserve

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Stream Crossing

Burton Trail – Ledyard

  • Burton Trail
  • Gallup Hill Road, Ledyard, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°26’11.78″N, 71°59’27.83″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 30, 2022
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.3 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.

Behind the Ledyard High School Fields is a short trail network. The trails will lead you down into a valley with stone walls, vernal pools, and boardwalks crossing streams before climbing a hill to a historic cemetery. Here you will find graves dating back to the late 1700’s, some who served in the American Revolution. Using both the yellow and blue blazed trails will enable you to complete a loop.

Trail map can be found at: Burton Trail

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Winding Boardwalk

Nathan Lester House – Ledyard

  • Nathan Lester House Hiking Trails/Great Oak Park
  • Vinegar Hill Road, Ledyard, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°25’23.26″N, 72° 3’14.34″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 30, 2022
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.8 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

                                                                            

 

Behind the historic Nathan Lester House are a few miles of properties. Each trail intersection is marked with a post that has a letter on it. For this hike you will do the 1.8 mile perimeter that leads to most of the properties highlights. Starting from the parking area, make you way toward the house. You will see the trailhead marked by a kiosk. The trail, occasionally marked with blue blazes winds through the woods skewed with boulders along this stretch. When you reach the “B” marker continue ahead. You will pass some stone walls and mountain laurel before coming to the “C” marker. Continuing ahead, slightly to the left you will come upon more mountain laurel. The trail descends a bit coming to a stream with a bridge crossing. The trail becomes quite root bound briefly after crossing the bridge. At the next intersection “D” there is a bench if you so choose to. Turn left here, the trail turns sharply to the right and follows a stone wall for a while. Along the way you may spot a cairn or two. Soon you will come to the connector trail the leads to the Atkinson Reserve. Continue ahead, the trail winds through a rather wet area for a bit before coming to the Lester Family cemetery on the left. Carrying on you soon come upon the site where once stood the Ledyard Oak. The tree removed in 1969, declared dead, was believed to be over 400 years old and was the site of several Pequot Councils. Staying to the left the trail leads back to the house and barn. Take a look around, there is quite a bit to see here including some farm animals.

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Trail Along Stone Wall

Atkinson Reserve – Ledyard

  • Atkinson Family Reserve
  • Long Cove Road, Ledyard, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°24’55.63″N, 72° 2’43.81″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 30, 2022
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.4 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

Starting from the parking area near 757 Long Cove Road stay to the left and follow the trail under the power lines to the kiosk. Here you will find the trail map. Continuing into the property following the red blazed trail, you will first scramble up and over a small hill and the trail winds a bit passing a tower. You will soon come to the blue loop. for this hike turn left here. You will slowly climb a hill and come upon the first of several stone walls. At the “short cut” stay to the left, descend into a valley, cross a small stream, and then back up hill. The blue trail turns sharply to the right and flanks a stone wall. The pine grove beyond the wall is so thick that you can not see daylight through it. The trail heads north a bit passing a couple of trails to the left that lead to the Nathan Lester trail system. Continue to follow the blue loop. It then turns to the east passing the other end of the “short cut” before descending down a steep hill. The trail veers to the right in a southerly direction now winding through an area of scattered boulders and more stone walls. You will soon pass through a grove of mountain laurel before coming to the red blazed loop. For this hike turn left onto the red loop. You will pass through low lying shrubs, outcrops, and by ledges before coming to a wooden bridge crossing a stream. Continue to follow the red blazed trail as it starts a long and steady climb uphill. Note on the right at the top of the hill a boulder left by the retreating glaciers. The trail soon levels out and comes to the blue loop again. Turn left here and again at the next intersection to follow the red blazes back to the kiosk.

Trail Map: Atkinson Reserve.

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The Brook at the Southern End of the Property

Glacier Park Moraine – Ledyard

  • Glacier Park – Recessional Moraine Site
  • Whalehead Road, Ledyard, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°26’27.14″N, 72° 2’56.95″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 17, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.0 miles
  • Moderate to difficult, strenuous at points. MUST USE CAUTION.

 

Glacier Park in Ledyard is made up of two non-contiguous parcels. They both offer a distinctively different glacier feature. This property has the recessional moraine, a field of large boulders. The hike, blue blazed, is a mile long, but is by far one of the most challenging hikes in Southern New England. The back portion of the blue blazed trail literally climbs into and out of a ravine of boulders and then to the top of a hill of boulders. This section of trail is challenging and can be strenuous and can test your stamina. Watch your footing here. (I would suggest avoiding this part of the trail during wet or icy conditions). The sight alone from either of the benches at each end of the boulder field is truly spectacular. There is a yellow blazed bypass trail which is much easier but still moderate in areas. Be sure to check out the Rock Shelter at the end of the short spur white blazed trail along the way.

 

Map can be found at: Glacier Park – Moraine

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Blue Blazed Trail Into The Ravine (Note the Blue Blaze at the Lower Right)

Stoddard Hill – Ledyard

  • Stoddard Hill State Park
  • Connecticut Route 12, Ledyard, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°27’34.60″N, 72° 3’50.40″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 17, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.7 miles
  • Fairly easy with some significant elevation.

 

This small State Park along the Thames River offers a towering ledge of boulders and a historic cemetery. There is a boat ramp here at the cove and small network of trails. The main trail, unblazed, climbs slightly uphill at first then follows the bank that overlooks the river and railroad below. The trail winds to the left of the ledge slowly going uphill and eventually dead ending near private property. Retracing your steps back a bit you find a trail to the left that leads to the cemetery of the Stoddard Family. Graves here date back to the 1800’s and members of the family fought in the Revolutionary War and War of 1812. There is a trail to the south that leads back to the main trail, downhill, and to the parking area

 

Map can be found at: Stoddard Hill

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Historic Stoddard Family Cemetery with Ledge Behind It.

Whitehall Park – Ledyard

  • Whitehall Park
  • Shewville Road, Ledyard, CT
  • Trailhead:  41°28’46.28″N, 71°59’29.72″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 17, 2019
  • Approximate distance hiked: 0.9 miles
  • Fairly easy with some significant elevation.

 

This small property in northern Ledyard offers quite a punch. A blue blazed loop trail leads you over a small wooden bridge that crosses old stone work before snaking between two small ponds. The trail then starts uphill and turns left. Look for the stone throne here. It is a large natural “chair” that overlooks the property. Continuing along the trail and uphill along a set of power lines brings you close to the highest parts of the property. The trail then turns to the right slightly running along a barbed wire fence. At the end of the trail turn left (right to exit) and follow this trail to its end. Here you will come to a high ledge. Be careful near the edges. Retrace you steps back to the last intersection and continue straight the remainder of the way to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Whitehall Park

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One of the Ponds at Whitehall Park

Poquetanuck Cove – Ledyard

  • Poquetanuck Cove Preserve
  • Avery Hill Road, Ledyard, CT
  • Trailhead: 41°28’30.42″N, 72° 2’37.51″W
  • Last Time Hiked: August 6, 2016
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.0 miles
  • Fairly easy with some significant elevation.

 

This white blazed lollipop loop trail sits on a rather unique piece of property owned by the Nature Conservancy. The property stretches from Avery Hill Road to the shores of the Thames River at Poquetanck Cove. Native Americans once camped and harvested oysters on this property. Though dry at the time of this hike, there is a stream that runs downhill to the cove. There is also an abundance of stone walls on the property that the white blazed trail weaves through. The trail becomes rather narrow above and along the shore line. There are several types of trees here including beech and hemlocks as well as mountain laurel shrubs. At the time of this hike there was evidence of a forest fire. It seems that maybe it was a year or two ago. In this area the forest floor is still just about bare.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Poquetanuck Cove Preserve

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Poquetanuck Cove