Ernie Boothroyd Nature Preserve & Bellante Preserve
94 acres in Ellington, CT
Trail Map Trails: 1.75 miles Rating: ★★☆☆☆
I stumbled across the Boothroyd Preserve while driving between two other planned hikes so I turned the car around and parked along the shoulder of the Tolland Turnpike and quickly set off into the woods on the Balanced Rock Trail.
The red blazed trail quickly forks. Taking the left fork will reach the balanced rock faster but I chose to take the right fork and hike the loop first. The trail was well blazed and easy to follow even if a bit unused. It meandered through a couple stands of thick mountain laurel. After meandering through some uneventful forest the trail splits again following the red blazes completes the original balanced rock loop for about a 1.4 mile hike. Taking the right the blazes switch to blue and head into the newer Bellante Preserve.
The trail gradually descends among some mountain laurel to a marshy corridor between private property. Hopping a small stream leads to the east side parking off Sandy Beach Road (Google Maps lists the address as Charter Road). Following the blue trail to complete the loop hops over a couple small rocky outcrops and an old forest road or two before reconnecting with the red trail in the Boothroyd section.
The property name commemorates Ernest William Boothroyd, Jr., (1944-2005). Ernie was a former Northern Connecticut Land Trust president and served on the Board of Directors for many years.
First preserved in March 2010 when the trust acquired the 58-acre Moseley property in Ellington, costing $185,000 shared by the State of Connecticut, the Bafflin Foundation, the Fields Pond Foundation, the town of Ellington, and the land trust.
In 2019 the land trust purchased the Bellante property (the land was appraised at $364,760, but was offered at a “bargain price” by the Bellante family ) with the help of $36,000 state grant, the Bafflin Foundation, and the town of Ellington.
CTMQ – NCLT: Ernie Boothroyd Nature Preserve (2019)
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Last updated November 15th, 2021
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