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Parke Memorial Preserve – North Stonington / property details / get directions

This is another sweet little preserve with a lot going on: great wildlife watching for the nature lover, and lots of historical artifacts for those intrigued by old machines and mills. Look at the pond and watch for birds in the shallows, birds in the trees around the edges, and turtles on logs sunning during the warm seasons. Listen to the water.

Total Hike & Seek Targets: 5

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



Which piece of machinery do you like best? Take a photo. What do you think its purpose was? You might get some hints by reading the signs.


Above the dam, the pond sits quietly. It creates a special habitat with soft edges where creatures like frogs and turtles can hide, shallow water for the herons to wade in and search for a small fish for a meal, and in the winter it likely freezes over creating a good place for reptiles and amphibians to hibernate.


As the water flows more rapidly over the dam, you can sense its energy change. Years ago, that energy was harnessed to power mills and machines. As it leaves the area the fast-running brook ultimately becomes the river that flows to the west and into the other preserved lands. It is a much different habitat with fish that like fast, fresh water and different animals will come to the river’s’s edge to search for food.


These pretty reptiles are our most commonly encountered turtles. They like quiet water and sunny logs or rocks. From their perch, they like to bask to warm up, but also keep an eye out for danger. Then they will rapidly slip into the water and swim very quickly out of sight. They come out of hibernation as early as March when the ice melts and the water warms a bit. Then they disappear again in the fall to hibernate in the mud at the bottom of the pond.