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Benedict Benson Preserve – North Stonington / property details / get directions / trail map

This lovely woodland preserve was donated in 2016 and the trails were opened in 2017. A nice hike on woodland trails leads you through rocky uplands and down to a tumbling brook. Most of these targets are visible year-round, but you have to keep your eyes open!

Total Hike & Seek Targets: 6

Don’t forget to take photos of your finds and share on Instagram with #myavalonia or email to!



As you walk the woodland trails you may find several trees that are twins or triplets! This is a clue that sometime in the history of the land this tree was cut to its base, probably for lumber or firewood. When it regrew, the strongest sprouts survived to become big trunks of trees in themselves! Most of them are oaks.


Can you find a tree that looks like, maybe, a wise old person watching over the trails? Use your imagination, keep a lookout and when you find him…greet him and take a photo!


Thousands of years ago, glaciers moved through the area, leaving behind valleys and hills and lots of rocks! This preserve has many rock piles. Over the years, water and soil get into the cracks in the rocks, ice expands, cracks get bigger, more soil gets in and then a seed takes root in the crack. After years, the strength of the roots and the effect of water and ice can actually split the rock! Check out the trees that look like they are growing out of the rocks.


Can you feel yourself walking down, down, down the trail? When you get to the bottom you will find the path of a little brook. Depending on the time of year, there may be lovely little waterfalls to explore. Rocks will be covered with moss, and animals that like damp habitats will find their homes along the brook’s edge. Is there water here today? Is there a bridge to help you cross?


Woodpeckers are special birds with sharp beaks and very strong head and neck muscles. They can bang or peck into wood and not hurt themselves! Look for larger round holes in trees where they live and smaller round holes where they have pecked into the wood to find delicious bugs to eat. If you’re quiet and listen carefully, you may hear their drumming sound!