Archive for the ‘ ~LEDYARD CT~ ’ Category

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

TWRI-41702Stoddard

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

TWRI-41701Whitehall

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

Avery Preserve – Ledyard

 

Every now and again I will venture out on a guided hike. Today, I went on a hike led by members of the Avalonia Land Conservancy. This group protects several properties in southeastern Connecticut including the beautiful Avery Preserve. We followed the orange blazed trail, first stopping by the Sheep Wash Pen, to the Mill Pond Dam at the Billings Avery Brook. We then headed first northerly, then easterly following the white blazed trail. Next we followed the yellow blazed trail back to the orange trail then retraced our steps back to the parking area. Along the way we came upon several toads and the singing of white breasted nuthatches as well as woodpeckers. The forest, abundant with beech trees, also offered birch and tulip trees. The fern covered forest offered glimpses of turkey tail mushrooms, Indian cucumbers, and rattlesnake orchids. There are several more trails here that can increase the mileage of your hike if you so choose to. The orange trail continues to the westerly end of the property before looping back following the northern most perimeter. There is also a piece of the property across the street (at the parking area) that has an unmarked trail the leads to a rhododendron grove.

Thank you Bruce and Amanda for the very informative guided hike.

 

Trail maps can be found at: Avery Preserve

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Fern Covered Forest

Woods Trail – Ledyard/North Stonington

  • Woods Trail
  • Lantern Hill Road, Ledyard, CT
  • Trailhead: 41°28’0.47″N,  71°57’3.96″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 29, 2013
  • Approximate distance hiked: 1.3 miles
  • Easy with slight elevation.
 
 

Finding myself in eastern Connecticut this morning with more than enough time to kill I went seeking a relatively easy trail to walk. Actually a hike. Yes folks, the first hike since the injury. It was a short and for the most part level lollipop loop trail on the Foxwoods property. The trail is blazed very well with green markers and the beginning shares the trail with the Lantern Hill hike which I plan on doing in the future. The trailhead is well marked with signage behind the Two Trees Inn at Foxwoods. I came across some wildlife and saw several deer track. The frozen Lantern Hill Pond is near the end of the loop. Besides the lake I came across a cellar hole and a stream which was also partially frozen.

I did not find a trail map on-line.

Old Stone Wall

Old Stone Wall