Photos

Description

River to Ridgetop North

Pleasant Valley Preserve, Jewett Preserve, Johnston Preserve

Lyme Land Trust, Lyme Town Park, The Nature Conservancy

920 acres in Lyme, CT

 Parking:

Trail Map           Trails: 13.1 miles       Rating: ★★★★☆


This is a large and varied property containing separate but connected preserves – the Johnston, Jewett, and Pleasant Valley Preserves.  They have been accumulating over the growing trails and interconnecting.  It leads to great loop options, several overlooks, and a couple hidden gems but the overlapping colors can cause some minor confusion.  Thankfully there are maps at junctions throughout and it is an incredibly well maintained property.

Hiking

  • Johnston Preserve
    • Fuchsia Trail – 2.6 miles
      • The main loop through this property, accessed from the short green trail off Rt 82.  The loop forks off the green trail climbing uphill in either direction.  As the hill levels out the trail has access to the yellow highpoint trail on either side and then descends  to either ‘fractured valley’ or ‘dark hollow’. The dark hollow’s rock ledges and brook were a highlight of the property for me.
    • Yellow Lyme Highpoint Trail – 0.6 miles
      • This short trail climbs along the highpoint ridge, the trail is completely wooded and doesn’t provide a much of a view through the trees, but you can claim a town highpoint if you nerd out on things like that!
    • White Overlook Trail – 0.6 miles
      • This short loop over a rocky knob has likely the best overlook view on the property.  Mountain laurel dots the knob and soon descends to the ‘dark hollow’ and the fuchsia trail.
  • Jewett Preserve
    • White Trail – 1.8 miles
      • This is likely an old woods road through the property and its age has made it a water collection area, a minor inconvenience at worst.  A short blue blazed spur trail takes you atop a small rocky knob with a bench for a wooded view down into the forest.  The blue connector trail heading to the Pleasant Valley Preserve has a cascade waterfall just off trail that likely slows to a trickle in the summer.
    • Red Trail – 2.3 miles
      • This trail makes the fullest use of the properties rocky terrain.  The overlook at the south end provides a wooded view down into the forest from a rocky ledge.
    • Purple Trial – 0.5 miles
      • Provides a more direct access route to the Johnston Preserve through glacial till overlapping with the red trail.
    • Yellow Trail – 0.7 miles
      • Unexplored
  • Pleasant Valley Preserve
    • Blue Trail – 0.5 miles
      • Unexplored
    • Red Trail – 0.4 miles
      • Unexplored
    • Yellow Trail – 2.7 miles
      • I only explored this coming out off the blue trail from the Jewett Preserve up to the overlook with a bench, but let me tell you the overlook has a nice view southeast and the bench is fantastic and handsomely built.

History:

The Pleasant Valley Preserve was donated to the Nature Conservancy by Catherine and Elizabeth Fehrer, daughters of famed Impressionist painter Oscar Fehrer, in 1992.

The adjacent Jewett Preserve was created in October 2004 when the Town of Lyme and The Nature Conservancy acquired 434 acres from the Jewett family with financial assistance provided by private donors and the State of Connecticut Open Space and Watershed Protection Program.

In 2018, the 250-acre Johnston Preserve was bought from the Johnston family by the Town of Lyme.


Links:

The information shown here is for general reference purposes only. exploreCT.org gives no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or reliability of this data. Parking in all areas, whether designated here or not, is at your own risk. exploreCT.org is not responsible for any damage or loss to vehicles or contents.
Last updated March 18th, 2024

Visited 292 times, 2 Visits today

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