Trail Wood Sanctuary preserves the home of Pulitzer Prize winning author Edwin Way Teale. He wrote of the area,
”I now live outside the village of Hampton, Conn., in a Colonial Cape Cod house with pegged oak and chestnut beams, three huge fireplaces, with 79 acres of woods, pastures, swamps and trails surrounding it,” he wrote. ”There are two brooks, a mile of trails through the woods and a waterfall. It is the proper habitat for a naturalist. Because of the trails I have cut through our woods for observing birds and animals, we have named the place Trail Wood.”
There are a few miles of trails throughout the property all named and leading to destinations like Juniper Hill, Far North Woods, and Starfield. Edwin and his wife Nellie would hike the woods and named each trail, pasture, and corner so they could share the news of their daily rambles if they went out separately.
There is a writers cabin just above the body of water simply named “Pond” (and modeled after Walden Pond) as well as a museum behind the home. Teale’s study has been kept exactly as he left it when he passed in 1980. Along the sanctuary’s western border is access to the Air Line Trail and Natchaug State Forest.
The property was gifted to the CT Audubon by the Teales’ in 1981. In the late 1990s, Connecticut Audubon purchased an additional 11 acres abutting the sanctuary and received one acre in donation, growing the sanctuary to 168 acres.
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