East Kent Hamlet Nature Preserve
Distance: Bromica Trace, 0.4 mi; Waterfall Trail, 0.1 mi; Red Eft Trail, 1.2 mi; Barnum Loop, 0.7 mi
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Located on the old site of Camp Francis, a summer retreat for Fairfield County Girl Scouts from the 1930s to the early 2000s, the East Kent Hamlet Nature Preserve hosts over 2.5 miles of roads and trails. To access most of the trails, follow Camelback Road south from the kiosk. After about 0.1 miles, go right for a short downhill hike to a lovely 50’ stepped waterfall. Another 0.2 miles down Camelback Road are the Girl Scout barn and former parade ground, now a meadow. From here, the Red Eft Trail follows a paved road to the left, leaves and reenters Kent while circling around a forested hilltop, and returns via the meadow. The green-blazed Barnum Loop begins near the south end of the meadow and explores a tranquil woodland in the southeast corner of the Preserve. The blue-blazed Bromica Trace runs from near the kiosk around Beaman Pond, crosses a stream, transects a small woodland, and ends near the intersection of Route 341 and Kent Hollow Road.
In 2018, KLT started to renovate the old Girl Scout barn, known as The Rafters. The 2019 roof repairs were partially funded by a $10,000 grant from the the 1772 Foundation in cooperation with the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.