|Jump Hill Preserve - Aspetuck Land Preserve - Easton, CT|
The Trout Brook Valley Preserve is part of the larger Aspetuck Land Trust in Easton Ct. This not-so-obvious park contains Fairfield County's premiere hiking and mountain biking trails. I had second thoughts about blogging about this site; there seems to be an understanding that this is a best-kept-secret best kept secret. Hiking for three hours without encountering another human nor hearing a car in one of the nation's most densely populated regions is an experience you might not want to tell your friends about.
|Trout Valley Preserve - Aspetuck Land Trust - Easton CT|
|Saugatuck Reservoir, Aspetuck Land Preserve|
|Aspetuck Land Preserve, Easton Ct|
The preserve, despite its size, seems to be wrapped within a fold in the fabric of suburban Fairfield County life. It is a wrinkle in the grand plan for an impenetrable sea of estates and hobby farms. It is submerged in plain sight.
Take Valley Forge Road and hang a right on Bradley Street. Don't worry if you miss the turn - you won't end up in Valley Forge. The town is literally submerged beneath the Saugutuck. If you find the roads around Easton and Weston to be mysteriously disconnected - it is because they are. Where once they ran through and to places - they now dead end; the topography of the land is altered severely by the dammed rivers and their submerged valleys.
|Moss pad at Aspetuck Land Trust|
|Red Trail at Aspetuck Land Trust|
The climbs are impressive enough to wind any level hiker, and in a few places quite vertical. The trails tend to bring you on rolling courses - up and down. This is why they are also popular with mountain bikers. You will have a well earned sweat whether on foot or bike.
My favorite route is to take the red trail from Bradley Road to its end. Catch the white trail back to Ruth's Trail (Yellow) and around the orange Trail back to white and home to Bradley Road's parking lot. That totals up to about 6 miles and takes me 2-3 hours.
There are other features of the preserve. There is an expansive community orchard (I know, who let these socialists in here? - just giving away organic blueberries! - Harrumph!) with a few hundred blueberry bushes. Also, an all natural playground (Yep, it's a hippie-verse like you might find in New Hampshire right here in Fairfield!) . I haven't run into either of these features yet. But, since this preserve is located 10 minutes from home, I'm sure I will cover every foot of it before too long.
Trout Valley Preserve Trail Map
New England Mountain Bike Association
Aspetuck Land Trust
DIRECTIONSAddress for your GPS: 1 Bradley Rd Weston, CT 06883 -41.245365,-73.342453
From Fairfield: 10 minutes
From New Haven: 1/2 hour
From Hartford: 1 hour
From New London: 1.5 hours
From New York: 1.5 hours
From Providence: 2.5 hours