Bartlett Brook WMA
Connecticut Wildlife Management Area
687 acres in Lebanon, CT
Parking: Medium sized lot near 773 Goshen Hill Rd Lebanon, CT
A narrow tree-lined driveway provides the entrance to this massive Wildlife Management Area. Bartlett Pond is one of Connecticut’s 105 WMAs and is mainly used as a game refuge and hunting area.
There is an easy two-mile loop here starting from the main gate down the driveway continuation. The straight shot trail passes between two large fields and continues for another half mile between occasional stone walls. Rocky outcrops sit just off the trail and a couple less used side trails head off at various points. At the back side of this loop, I entered another field which soon dipped back into the woods. Each field seems to have a mowed border around the edge and random paths through. I stuck to the main path and didn’t explore anything else.
At around a mile’s distance, I finally hit water although this one was Exeter Brook. The conventional trails don’t get within view of the namesake Bartlett Brook so I settled for the winding Exeter. Just upstream from where the trail deadends there was evidence of stone foundations that might indicate some history of water power here though that’s purely speculative. The previous weekend had been deep freeze temperatures and it had already swung back to 60 degrees in February so a lip of ice lined the water and small bergs were melting away.
The sun was setting and the trail passed through more golden-lit fields. Bird boxes are set just off the trail but they sat empty at this time of year. While I did startle a few birds high in a tree and spotted a woodpecker near the parking area I bet this spot is alive with birds in the warmer months.
Peter Marteka – Summer Sounds Fill the Air Bartlett Brook