Town: North Stonington
Maintained Uses: walking, hiking
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Length: 1.4 miles (yellow)
Type: lasso loop
Surface: packed earth/dirt
Pets: permitted (dogs on leash)
Year Preserved: 2016
Located in North Stonington and off Swantown Hill Road (approximately 101 Swantown Hill Road), Benedict Benson Preserve offers a truly fun, easy to moderate hike that allows you to become one with nature. There is a small parking lot on the west side of Swantown Hill Road, adjacent to the trailhead. This yellow trail is well marked and easily appreciated. Approximately 0.14 miles in is a stonewall. Crossing over this stonewall leads you to the start of the lasso loop, splitting left and right. Be on the lookout for an old, rusted car frame on the side of the trail. Additionally, two board and bog walks are located on the trail for crossing over a small creek. These are located on the northern tip and southwest corner of the loop, respectively. Birds of various types are a common site to see, in addition to squirrels, chipmunks and white tail deer. The total, in-and-out distance of the hike is 1.4 miles with 190 feet of elevation change. The trail width ranges from 3 feet to wide open. It is pet friendly (dogs on leash).
This 94 acre parcel is just a small portion of a very large and intact mature forest block known for its excellent birding opportunities. The area is rugged and rocky with great outcrops, formations, glacial erratics and stone walls. The west side trail is easy to moderate with some elevation change down to the pretty Lantern Brook and stream crossings in two areas.
The Preserve was donated by Mimi and Brad Borden and named in honor of Benedict Bengt Benson, the first owner of the property and grandfather of Mrs. Borden.
Location info: Two parcels intersected by Swantown Hill Road. Listed as 100 and 101 Swantown Hill Rd. West side parking area off road at Trailhead with approximately 1.5 miles of trails blazed yellow. East side no trails at this time.