*Please note that parking areas, trails signs and other areas are still under construction, but the preserve is open to the public. The best current option for parking is at the Nathan Lester House (153 Vinegar Hill Rd, Gales Ferry, CT 06335). Avalonia is working with Eversource to hopefully have the area completed by Summer of 2021*
The Atkinson Dirlam preserve consists of two acquisitions on opposite sides of Long Cove Rd. in the Gales Ferry section of Ledyard, for a combined size of 228 acres. The preserve significantly expands the newly (2018) State recognized Great Oak Greenway, contributing over five miles of wide, compacted woods roads and additional single-track trails to create one of the largest trail systems in southeastern Connecticut. Environmentally, these properties contribute significantly to the Great Brook and Long Island Sound watersheds given the large streams that flow directly through the properties into Thompson Brook, onto Great Brook, then Groton Reservoir and beyond into Long Island Sound. This project was awarded a CT Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition grant, covering approximately 65% of the cost to acquire these vital properties.