32 acres in Killingly, CT
Parking: Shoulder parking at the gate near 149 Lake Rd, Dayville, CT
Aerial Map. Trails 0.5 miles Rating: ★★☆☆☆
The trailhead for the Dunn Preserve is sneakily hidden just past the driveway for 149 Lake Rd. I drove right past it three times before catching it.
I followed the .4 mile trail down to the Quinebaug River which felt like an overgrown driveway and as I found out near the river’s edge, it is! There is an abandoned house about 500 ft from the river, which I can only assume has been slowly reclaimed by nature since 1992.
Wyndham Land Trust site says the preserve, “extends for almost 2000 feet along the east bank of the Quinebaug River and affords good views both upstream and downstream of the river. The forest cover is mostly Hemlock with a substantial thicket of Mountain Laurel and occasional Ironwood.”
There is a large mowed patch along the bank overlooking the river which is wide and shallow in this section. A small shack and dam pool sit above the bank. A faint trail heads north past the shack, but a much clearer one headed south. I followed a section overgrown with bittersweet that cut away from the river following a gas pipeline corridor. I continued to follow yellow blazes but had the sneaking suspicion I had left Dunn Preserve property.
I had seen a woman on a horse near the trailhead and realized that what I was following was horse trails from the nearby Valley View Riding Stables. They seem to have blazed several new trails that connect to the Dunn Preserve and the odd combination I did was about two miles.
Protected since 1992.