skip to Main Content

Back to All Hike & Seek Properties

Woodlot Sanctuary – Stonington / property details / get directions / trail map

This piece of land was destined to be house lots but through the donors’ great generosity, it was preserved so all may enjoy.  It is dedicated to the special women in the families that made it possible. The two loops are fairly level and easy walking. Some unmarked side trails lead to wetland over views. A peaceful place.  A Sanctuary for sure.

What’s in a Name?  The parcels making up this preserve once served as woodlots for local families who cut their winter wood here. See if you can find some of the clues that this was a woodlot.

Total Hike & Seek Targets: 6

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



When trees were cut with a saw, most of the wood was hauled away but the stumps that were left are flat on top. There are many of these in the woods. Sometimes chipmunks leave acorn or nut shells on the top making it look like a picnic table. Sometimes you can almost see the growth rings in the wood that give you a hint of the age of the tree when it was cut.


Sometimes when a tree was cut, the stump sprouted and new trunks grew up. Many years later these trees, usually oaks, have double or triple trunks growing straight and tall.


Most of the trees in this preserve are deciduous, meaning they lose their leaves in the fall. However, there are several big evergreens (white pinehemlock, spruce) scattered in the forest. They have needles that stay green all year long. Find the evergreens, look at the needles, and also look up into the trees. There are wonderful barred owls that live in these woods and they often like to stay hidden in the evergreens. Maybe you will be lucky and see one. Shhh!


Like so many other areas in southeastern Connecticut, this preserve was shaped by the glaciers. They created the sloping sides that are now low wetlands, and the higher rocky center parts of the preserve. They also left behind big boulders that seem totally out of place. There are two erratics on the property. One of these boulders is very special as it holds the memorial dedication plaque.


The forest floor is home to many kinds of different ferns throughout the preserve. Some live in wetlands, some in the drier areas. Most of these are not visible in the winter. Some grow right off the rocks and will stay green all year long. Look on the rocky outcrops on the orange loop for these special ferns.