We are pleased to announce that we will be reopening our trails this Monday, April 27th. Once again, we’ll be welcoming visitors back to our preserves to enjoy the trails and reconnect with nature. 

Our decision follows the town’s decision to reopen the trails at town parks, starting Sunday, April 26th. We are so grateful for your understanding and adherence to our temporary closure, and look forward to seeing you out on the trails in the coming days.

Visiting Our Preserves…

With warmer weather approaching and folks looking for ways to get out of the house, we expect that our preserves will see more visitors than ever before. Given the extraordinary times that we are living in, it is extremely important that you follow these guidelines below to help keep everyone safe, and protect our community’s special places.

  • Out of an abundance of caution, dogs must be leashed on all properties at all times. You may also want to consider leaving your dog at home, as dogs on trails create opportunities for close contact (something we are trying to avoid at this time).
  • Please park only in designated parking areas. If a parking area is full, try visiting another NCLT preserve. We don’t want to burden our first responders with parking violations, and want to continue to be courteous to our neighbors.
  • When walking the trails, please practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from other visitors. This requirement means that you need to be alert while on the preserves and anticipate encounters with other visitors so to make the needed effort to maintain appropriate social distancing. You may also want to consider wearing a face mask.

NCLT maintains 5.5 miles of trails on 8 properties, and we encourage you to visit some of our lesser used preserves to avoid overcrowding. Each preserve is unique in its topography, ecology, and other features. Check out the “Places to Explore” menu on our website for a complete listing of these preserves, including trail maps, parking information, and more.

Keep An Eye Out For…

There is so much to see while at a Land Trust preserves. Below are a few things that you might find during your walk in the woods:

Passages at Hannan Field: Created by Thomas Berntsen, Passages is the first installation on the New Canaan Sculpture Trail. The seven translucent panels lead visitors through the meadow, and the dichroic film changes in response to light and angles.

Fowler Meadow at Still Pond: Golden Alexander (Zizia auria) is blooming now. It is one of the two dozen species planted in the Fowler Meadow, and provides food for pollinators during this early stage of spring. Thanks to our amazing volunteers who helped plant nearly 6,000 plugs at the meadow last fall!

Glacial Erratic at Browne: The Browne Preserve on Valley Road is home to one of New Canaan’s largest glacial erratic boulders. Visitors can learn more about how this massive rock ended up there, thanks to interpretive signage along the trail.

Trail Markers at Still Pond Preserve: Walkers at Still Pond will notice a series of new trail markers, helping to guide visitors through the woodlands. Coupled with the raised walkways built by boy and girl scouts over the last year, these trails are now more accessible than ever.

Broad-winged Hawks at Colhoun: One of our board members spotted a pair of Broad-winged hawks at the Colhoun Preserve. They can sometimes be spotted circling the meadow as they hunt for their next meal. The hawks’ call can also help to locate these amazing creatures.

Remember, now is a great time to explore some of NCLT’s lesser visited preserves. You never know what you might find!

And If You Can…

We know that this crisis is hitting everyone differently, and we hope you are doing ok. Some of our supporters have asked what they can do to help NCLT continue to thrive during this unusual time, so we’ve made a list of three ways you can help.

If you can help, we’d love for you to take a look – but please don’t feel any pressure. We know that this is a very difficult time for everyone.

Thank you for everything you do to protect New Canaan’s special places. These preserves are so crucial to our community’s health and well-being, especially in these challenging times.