692 acres in Pomfret, CT
There are 7.75 miles of trails at the Bafflin Sanctuary. From the main parking area on Rt. 169 the trail starts in Mashamoquet Meadow. Heading southbound will reach the Ledges Trail loop and heading north will pass through Day Brook ravine, the bog trail and finally onto Clara, Emma, and John’s Loop.
As you may be able to tell just from that first paragraph the trails here feel like a bit of a maze. It appears clear just looking at the trail map that there are individual loops with connections to others. In practice however, as a casual hike, it feels like a lot of guessing unless you’re carrying a trail map with you (which I would recommend).
Mashamoquet Meadow is beautiful with birds and butterflies dipping all around. The trail crosses Wappoquia Brook and I headed north on the eastern side of William’s Way. There is a huge old white oak that dominates the edge of the field whose base is a huge hollow. The trail then skirts an old farm pond and heads through pine forest before crossing over Alfalfa Hill, which has a great view southwest. I ended up on the ravine trail which provides only one decent view of the ravine. On the return trip there were old farm paths and 10 ft high cornfields.
From the CT Audubon site,
“Some of the remarkable natural features of this property include a large beaver pond, extensive fields, a hemlock ravine, three large brooks, floodplains vernal pools, alder thickets, and wet meadows. Some trails have interpretive signage.”
The sanctuary also has the Center at Pomfret, an educational building near 218 Day Rd. The center is known specifically as the Grassland Bird Conservation Center and focuses on birds that require large open grasslands or shrublands. Programs at the Center at Pomfret include bird walks, trail hikes, art exhibitions, photography workshops, seasonal workshops and lectures, environmental education programs, and citizen science training and projects. Also offered are after-school nature clubs, summer and school vacation camps (ages pre-K to high-school).
Peter Marteka – $2 million Audubon center being built in Pomfret (2010)