Sheepskin Hollow Preserve
119 acres in East Haddam, CT
Parking: Small lot near 171 Sheepskin Hollow Rd East Haddam, CT or at the cul-de-sac at the end of Ridgebury Rd
Trail Map Trails: 3 miles Rating: ★★★☆☆
There is a total of about three miles of trails on 119 acres. I took the outer most loop (a combination of the purple/red/yellow/white/blue trails) for a two mile hike. All trails are well blazed though having a trail map on your phone is helpful.
Sheepskin Hollow is one of those places you know is going to be special as soon as you start down the trail. The first thing you hear is the rushing water of Roaring Brook #2 and as you cross a sturdy wooden bridge built in 2012, you get your first glimpse of the waterfall amidst a stand of pines. Trails can be followed to the pond where I saw at least two beaver lodges or to the rolling forested hills on the eastern side of the property.
The area was known for its tanneries in colonial days and should be known now as a great short hike in southeastern CT.
According to the Peter Marteka article below,
According to town Historian Karl Stofko, the area got its name from a thriving tannery business during the late 1700s and early 1800s. With the rocky topography in this area of town, farmers raised sheep and operated tanneries. One tannery operating north of the preserve used sumac on the hides, which produced a finer-quality leather that was used in women’s shoes and slippers.
I don’t have a date for when the property was first preserved, but it has increased in acreage from 94 around 2010. In 2012 the land trust built a wooden bridge across Roaring Brook for easier access to the trails from Sheepskin Hollow Rd. In 2016, Sheepskin Hollow was added to the Lyme Forest Block which was recognized by National Audubon Society and the state of Connecticut as an Important Bird Area.
Peter Marteka – Visit To 96-Acre Sheepskin Hollow Showcases Roaring Brook (2010)
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Last updated December 29, 2019
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