Frank Niederwerfer Wildlife Sanctuary / South Windsor Wildlife Sanctuary
159 acres in South Windsor, CT (117 town park, 42 state property)
Parking: Small lot near 275 Niederwerfer Rd, South Windsor, CT
Trail Map Trails: 2 miles Rating: ★★☆☆☆
The Frank Niederwerfer Wildlife Sanctuary and adjacent South Windsor Wildlife Sanctuary offer about two miles of fairly easy flat trails. The park features the highest point in South Windsor at 420′ and an expansive overlook at the ‘sledding hill’. This seems to be a popular park with dogs and kids for its summer beauty and accessible trails.
Starting from the medium sized parking area trails head off in three directions though all roughly work their way north across the property and are wide, easy to follow, but have a few muddy spots. I started taking the right most trail which briefly parallels Niederwerfer Road working through pines planted by Frank Niederwerfer as well as other identified trees.
The woods are open and eventually cross a utility corridor before reaching the sledding hill (which could easily handle 100 sleds) and the overlook west, which might mean its great for sunset views.
Not pictured on the map above is a loop heading north into the state property South Windsor Wildlife Sanctuary. This trail should work through the woods down to the bottom of the sledding hill and then come back up through the woods on the other side but I missed it when taking in the overlook. My hike continued cutting across the back of the field for a much shorter loop on the outermost path. There are a number of trail junctions here without signage, but they all head in roughly the same direction back to the parking area through a couple meadows.
My December hike ended up being less than a mile and I was a bit nonplussed on the whole, but enjoyed the quick jaunt and view and imagine it’s much more beautiful outside the winter season.
The Town of South Windsor purchased the original 70 acres in 1968 and dedicated them to Frank Niederwerfer (1913-2003). Frank donated his home and 15 acres of land to the Hartford Audubon Society to be kept as open space and he worked to develop a Wildlife Sanctuary at the Tolland Agricultural Center.
- CTMQ – Frank Niederwerfer Wildlife Sanctuary (2017)
- Peter Marteka – South Windsor Wildlife Sanctuary Is A Beauty (2010)
- Peter Marteka – In South Windsor, Another Surprise (2009)
- Interview with Frank Niederwerfer (2000)
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