Potter Meadow Preserve
34 acres in Columbia, CT
Parking: At the end of the cul-de-sac near 98 Commerce Dr, Columbia, CT
Trail Map Trails: 1 mile Rating: ★★☆☆☆
From the parking area at the end of Commerce Drive the trail starts just behind the guard rail and heads steeply downhill into the floodplain of the Willimantic River. This hike can be wet, but I’ve yet to have an issue on my hikes there.
The one mile loop is well maintained and easy to follow on mostly flat ground. At a steady pace it would take 25-30 minutes. The highlights include a viewpoint of Ten Mile River, though the tiny spur trail is usually a bit overgrown. There is another view right along the river a bit further along the trail. When the water is low it’s fun to search the soft sand along the banks for animal prints.
The leaves the Ten Mile River and heads through a unique riparian zone until reaching the Willimantic River. There is a buffer of trails between the trail and water so views are a bit lackluster, but across the way is the popular paved Air Line Trail connection to the Hop River Trail.
There should be once access point to the Willimantic River along this stretch though it varies with water level and plant growth along the banks. As the trail heads back towards the parking area it climbs just enough for the plants and trees to change once more until you return to where you started at the steep hill.
Preserved in 1988 when it was donated by Whitehall Properties, Ltd. From the Joshua’s Trust site,
Potter Meadow was owned by the Buckinghams, who were conservators to Uncas, father of Joshua. Starting in the 1830’s the Potter family used it as pasture land.
Peter Marteka – Potter Meadow: A Fun Place To Visit, Just Bring Your Boots (2009)
CTMQ – JT: Potter Meadow (2019)
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Last updated February 5th, 2017
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