Maintained Uses: walking, hiking
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Length: 1.6 miles of total trails (yellow trail head/markers)
Type: interconnected loop network
Surface: grass/meadow and packed earth/dirt
Pets: permitted (dogs on leash)
Year Preserved: 1994
Barrett Preserve is a beautiful, short hiking trail located in the Gales Ferry neighborhood in Ledyard that offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors on a well-marked trail with yellow trail heads. Immediately upon entering the preserve, you are welcomed to finely groomed grass paths with bird boxes and houses spread throughout. The grass paths are only a short portion of the preserve, as it quickly turns into a wooded area (down a hillside of oak, hickory, and black birch). Further on the trail is a wetland area, featuring a large stand of giant tulip trees. The trail also offers two stream crossings, a rich understory of mountain laurel, and carpets of hay-scented fern. Don’t miss out on the bench that overlooks the stream, a scenic treat. It is not uncommon to see half a dozen to a dozen different species of birds (blue birds, woodpeckers, hawks, owls, etc.), in addition to many ground animals such as squirrels and chipmunks. You may even see the white tail of a deer flashing as it bounds away. The trails are a series of two interconnected loops, in a bow shaped fashion. Total mileage is approximately 1.6 miles with the largest loop being 0.93 miles and the smallest loop being 0.67 miles. The combination of grass and meadow paths and packed earth and dirt trails offers diversity on the hiking boots, with an easy to moderate difficulty and an elevation gain of 197 feet.
904 Long Cove Road opposite Mount Vernon Drive. Approximately 0.5 miles of trails. Open field, mature upland forest with laurel stands, towering tulip trees, rock ledges and intermittent streams. Portion was burned in a forest fire in 1989. Forest management plan to encourage early successional underway.