Estimated distance: 5.23 miles (3.59 miles at WLT's Ehrich Woods & Ruez Trails, 1.64 miles at WLT's Hurlbut Field)
Weather: 78°F, scattered clouds
Resources: Winchester Land Trust, Ehrich Woods Trail Map, Ruez Trail Map, Hurlbut Field Trail Map
Highlights of the trip: wildflowers, Bobolinks, field of milkweed, butterflies
Progress toward 2017 Outdoor Goals: 25/52 hikes; 82.85/250 miles hiked
Two fantastic hikes today on Winchester Land Trust properties!
Our first hike was at Ehrich Woods. The map gives you a couple of options for parking, including at the town green (just pull to the side of the road - that's what the parishioners of the local church do on Sunday morning), but we chose to park at the small turn-out (room for about 3-4 cars) on Preston Road. Regardless of where you park, you can make a loop, but it requires a road walk. Instead, we did an out-and-back hike along the dirt road.
From the parking area, we headed east along Preston Road and turned south onto Old Waterbury Turnpike. As you approach the marsh, Rugg Brook forms a little waterfall to your right.
|You can see it grows quite tall.|
|Not 100 percent sure, but maybe Swamp Candles?|
We turned around and headed back to the Ruez Trail. This is a lollipop shaped trail that heads off to the east. The highlights here were finding a red eft and seeing the glacial erratic.
|Hey, little buddy.|
|The glacier decided to drop this big boy right in the middle of the woods. Okay, there were probably no woods then.|
We returned to our car and headed down Grantville Road to the parking area we had passed earlier for Hurlbut Field.
There is a nice big sign at the entrance to the field, so you know you are in the right place. There is also a kiosk with more information and trail maps available.
|Park at the side of the road near the sign.|
Follow the mown path through the field and go into the woods. Before long you are on the shore of Winchester Lake. But, don't be in too much of a hurry to get through the field. The field was the highlight of our day.
|So picturesque. I wish I had more than the camera on my phone. See the different colored ladder-back chairs on the side of the barn?|
|Fritillary on Milkweed|
Winchester Land Trust doesn't have a ton of property, but what they do have is quite diverse. I especially recommend a visit to the Hurlbut Field property. It has been several days, but I am still excited thinking about all that property had to offer.