About the Audrey and Robert Tobin Preserve
The Audrey and Robert Tobin Preserve is a remote, expansive forest haven gracing portions of the Towns of Kent, Cornwall, and Warren. Towering white pines, shady hemlock groves, dense stands of mountain laurel, meandering streams, vernal pools, an old homestead, and robust historic stone walls are among the property’s many magnificent features. Together with nearby conserved lands which include Kent Falls State Park and sections of Wyantenock State Forest, the Tobin Preserve helps to protect over 1,000 acres of unbroken forest. Feel free to explore, taking care to leave the Preserve as you found it.
Audrey and Bob Tobin, whose extraordinary gift allowed the Kent Land Trust to purchase this 241-acre property in December 2012, envisioned the place as a nature preserve, a public resource, and an educational laboratory. They have since worked steadily to translate their vision into reality. Bob has developed the Preserve’s trail system (see posted map), facilitating public access and turning the trail project into an educational opportunity for local youth including former Kent Land Trust interns Brian and Alison Robey. The Tobins have also encouraged Marvelwood School’s use of the property for ongoing bird research under the supervision of Science Chair Laurie Doss. Another Marvelwood student, Kent resident Simon Winter, completed his successful Eagle Scout project here. You’ll find Simon’s series of skillfully executed interpretive signs along the Homestead Trail. Most recently, Kent resident Maddie Malinowski has added an award-winning interactive Story Map, and intern Alexis Freudenberg has created an iNaturalist project.
Consistent with the mission of the Kent Land Trust, use of the Audrey and Robert Tobin Preserve is limited to noncommercial, passive recreational activities. For more information about the property please contact the Kent Land Trust at (860) 488-9185 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Be aware KLT permits hunting on this property on a limited basis to licensed hunters who have been given consent. Please read kiosk hunting signs. Please be alert and wear blaze orange when on hiking trails or in the woods during hunting seasons.
Click here for a link to CT DEEP's Hunting & Trapping Regulations.
KLT is pleased to announce the creation of a new internship program at the Audrey and Robert Tobin Preserve, inspired by and named in memory of Audrey and Bob's daughter Kelly.
The program will create educational and work-study activities for youth of all ages within the learning-lab setting of the Tobin Preserve, and include collaborative programs with area day camps, schools and conservation organizations.
Alexis Freudenberg, the first intern, grew up in Sharon and graduated this year from UConn with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Geography. She has spent time in Italy, focusing on water quality and the development of ancient and modern municipal water systems. In Storrs, she performed research on climate adaptation for New England coastal communities and developed plans for beach and park resiliency. After this internship she is entering a graduate program in Energy and Environmental Management.
Working with KLT Board member and Marvelwood Science Chair Laurie Doss, Alexis has created an iNaturalist project for the Tobin Preserve so that nature lovers of all ages can help share and communicate about the many animal and plant species observed there. This catalog of crowd-sourced sightings expands upon the data within the Storymap created earlier this year by Maddie Malinowski.
Distance: Laurel Loop, 0.87 mi; Homestead Trail, 0.92 mi; Meadow Trail, 0.25 mi to Stone Wall Trail; Stone Wall Trail, 0.66 mi
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
The Audrey and Robert Tobin Preserve spans the borders of Kent, Cornwall, and Warren. The green-blazed Laurel Loop follows a gentle stream course, penetrates dense areas of mountain laurel, and rejoins old wood roads dating from the era of Kent’s iron industry. The orange-blazed Homestead Trail features interpretive signage highlighting a shady hemlock grove, vernal pools, and an old homestead. The yellow-blazed Stone Wall Trail, still under development, cuts across a stream and through a meadow, then up a moderate slope into the preserve’s Cornwall section, running along walls of uncommon height, breadth, and beauty.