Location: Northwestern New Canaan, at the end of Apple Tree Lane
Access: Visitors should park at the cul-de-sac at the end of Apple Tree Lane, and follow the trail heading south into the woods.
Date Protected: 1970-1980 Acreage: 14 Trail Length: 0.7 miles
Visitation Hours: Dawn to Dusk Dogs Allowed? Yes, on leash
History: The protection of the Livingston-Higley Preserve is a true conservation success story, thanks to Robert C. Livingston and Stuart Higley. In the early 1970s, Livingston convinced three of his neighbors to join him in permanently protecting the open space behind their homes. Working with Higley and NCLT, each family carved off portions of their properties, and combine them to create a contiguous, 11-acre preserve. By 1980, that land was gifted to NCLT, and was forever protected for the community’s enjoyment.
Recreation Opportunities: NCLT has established, and continues to maintain a walking trail at the Livingston Higley Preserve. The trail begins at the cul-de-sac on Apple Tree Lane, proceeds over a boardwalk that traverses a wetland, meanders through a wooded upland, and emerges at a beautiful 5-acre meadow. In 2019, NCLT began mowing a trail through the meadow to enable visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty and tranquility of the meadow, and to add even more distance to the walking trail.
Land Stewardship: Much of the stewardship work on this property focuses around the meadow. Through annual mowing, removing invasive species, and installing nesting boxes for bluebirds and kestrels, we have created an oasis for pollinators and a number of migratory and predatory birds. In 2015, NCLT restored the historic stone wall that runs through the center of the meadow and more recently expanded the footprint of the meadow by removing encroaching trees and shrubs from the perimeter of the field.
A time-lapse video of the night sky over the Livingston-Higley Meadow: