Monday, April 16, 2018

A Hidden Gem

The Oswegatchie Hills Nature Preserve is nestled in the scenic coastal town of Niantic Connecticut. The nature preserve spans over 400 acres of varied terrain. There are several miles of hiking trails. 

Our hike took place a day after rain and the wet moss that blanketed the preserve made us feel like we entered an enchanted forest. The preserve abuts Clark's Pond and the Niantic River, it is a unique and beautiful place.

The miles of trails that run throughout the preserve, provide endless opportunities for birding and wildlife observations. We could not resist pulling out our camera. What impressed us most was the unique rock formations and vegetation.

Monotropa uniflora

Also impressive was the Quartz pit, what a treat to see quartz in abundance amongst the borders and beautiful fauna, we also stumbled upon a rare find, the Monotropa uniflora, also known as ghost plant (or ghost pipe), Indian pipe or corpse plant. 

Southern pine bark beetle trap

We were fascinated by a trap we came across, its purpose is to trap the southern pine bark beetle. This invasive beetle preys upon pine trees, an infestation of this beetle would be devastating to the preserve. This finding provided an opportunity for our children to see first hand the efforts to ward off a devastating invasive beetle. This was a great learning moment.

It is important to note that there are steep sections and cliffs throughout the preserve. Trails are well marked. Dogs are welcome in the preserve but it is requested that they remain on their leash and under owners control. 

Trail Map:
Access to the Preserve
A hike through this enchanted preserve is a perfect outing for hikers and dogs! 

Aussie overlooking Clark Pond

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