About the West Aspetuck Scenic Wetlands Preserve
The West Aspetuck Scenic Wetlands Preserve includes an inviting woodland, a red maple swamp, historical stone structures, and a stunning 9-acre beaver pond that hosts a wide diversity of plant and animal life. The 0.8-mile loop trail leads both upslope to a rocky outcrop and downslope to the pond. From the water’s edge, look for two beaver lodges and a colorful riot of wetland vegetation. You are also likely to see waterfowl and to encounter one or more of the many amphibian and reptile species known to inhabit the area.
Due to its varied landscape, proximity to other conserved property, and position at the headwaters of the West Aspetuck River, this 25.3-acre Preserve has high conservation value. The wetland is both a state-listed critical habitat and a natural filtration system that protects the West Aspetuck’s superb water quality. The Preserve is also part of a large greenway. Nearby are parts of the Wyantenock State Forest, several conservation easements, and the Kent Land Trust’s 253-acre East Kent Hamlet Nature Preserve. Such expansive, interconnected protected areas are critical for maintaining healthy wildlife populations.
In the 19th century, land that now comprises the Preserve abutted East Kent Hamlet, a lively community that was home to a church, inn, store, and post office. Also nearby was Morgan’s Forge, Kent’s first ironworks. Over time, East Kent Hamlet faded away, trees grew back, and beavers moved in. The Kent Land Trust acquired this long-quiet property in September 2016. The purchase was made possible by an award from the State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection through the Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition program, and by the generous donations of Kent neighbors and the Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust.
Consistent with the mission of the Kent Land Trust, use of the West Aspetuck Scenic Wetlands Preserve is limited to noncommercial, passive recreational activities. No hunting is allowed. For more information about the property please contact the Kent Land Trust at (860) 488-9185 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Distance: 0.8 mi
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
The West Aspetuck Scenic Wetlands Preserve lollipop-shaped trail runs gently upslope to a rocky outcrop and downslope to the pond, providing views of waterfowl, beaver lodges, and a wide variety of wetland and woodland vegetation.
Please be aware that due to ongoing road construction by the Town of Kent, there is no parking and limited accessiblity on Kenico Road.