Irwin Park to Nature Center “GreenLink”
Location: Between Irwin Park and the New Canaan Nature Center
Access: Visitors should park at either Irwin Park or the Nature Center.
Date Protected: 1974, 1977 Acreage: 9 Trail Length: Up to 2.5 miles
Visitation Hours: Dawn to Dusk Dogs Allowed? Yes, on leash
History: The idea of linking New Canaan’s various parcels of open space has been around for decades, with the original “Green Links Organization” working on this goal since the 1980s. When the Green Links Organization dissolved in the early 2000s, NCLT carried on their work, attempting to link Irwin Park to the New Canaan Nature Center, across three existing NCLT preserves donated by the Betts, Fischer, and Hupper families. In 2015, a crucial pedestrian easement was granted to NCLT, linking all of the properties, and making way for the creation of the GreenLink Trail.
The GreenLink was constructed in 2017 and 2018, and was made possible by the generosity of NCLT’s members, a grant from the New Canaan Community Foundation, and support from the Town of New Canaan. The trail opened on Earth Day of 2018, and has since been one of the town’s most popular walking trails.
Recreation Opportunities: NCLT continues to maintain the portion of the GreenLink Trail that traverses its three properties. Visitors to the trail will enjoy the beautifully crafted walkways that traverse through unspoiled wetlands, as well as the woodland path that meanders alongside ponds and vernal pools.
The trail is also part of a larger 2.5-mile walking loop, accessible from downtown New Canaan. This loops connects Irwin Park to the New Canaan Nature Center, thus enabling visitors to wander through the meadows of Irwin Park, enjoy the beauty of the wetlands protected by the Land Trust, and stop by the Visitor Center at the Nature Center, all without having to get into a car.