Tatson’s Woods Preserve
8 acres in Salem, CT
Parking: Across the road at the bottom of the driveway near 481 E Haddam Rd Salem, CT
Parking is not great for Tatson’s Woods. You park at the bottom of three driveways and cross the road to reach the trailhead. A hundred feet into the woods you are unexpectedly greeted by Mr. Tatson (see the second photo above) an upturned tree trunk with a carved face affixed to it. Things Mr. Tatson should, but doesn’t, tell you about the property:
- You haven’t reached the property yet, you’re on a half-mile long easement.
- The easy to follow red trail continues beyond the preserve property border for another 1/3rd of a mile to an old campsite before fading into some bushes.
- The actual loop trail is easy miss the turn for, rarely traveled, but blazed just well enough to slowly follow.
- At the backside of the loop a completely unused yellow trail that seems to head off into the woods for no reason…
- BUT! The reason for the yellow trail: a massive ancient oak just past the trail end. Easily a couple hundred years old it is surrounded only by a wide ring of ferns
- The Cerulean Warbler, a species facing risk of extinction, has been sighted here
This hike is probably best enjoyed in late-fall or early spring unless you don’t mind a bit of adventure among the ferns at the backside of the loop. I’d guess this property is rarely visited, especially due to the parking situation, but I really enjoyed this property for it’s majestic old oak. It must have been a real sight in its glory days on the farm.
Once part of a large colonial farm this property inholding was preserved in 2008. The surrounding 475-acre farm is protected by an easement held by The Nature Conservancy.
CT Audubon – Lyme Forest Block