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Acreage: 79 (62 Kent, 17 South Amenia/Dover)
Distance: Main trail, 1.1 mi; Ashton’s Loop, 0.6 mi
Spanning the NY-CT border, the Currie Sanctuary encompasses steep forested slopes, artifacts from Kent’s early industrial and agricultural eras, and rewarding views. Starting along an old wood road, the main blue-blazed trail climbs steadily, passing historical charcoal mounds on the way to a grassy ridge adjacent to Macedonia Brook State Park. Ashton’s Loop, blazed in yellow, provides an alternate route through an old farmstead. The upper reaches of the trail include spectacular views east down the Macedonia Brook Valley and west toward the Hudson River Valley and the Catskill Mountains beyond.
Distance: Woodcock Trail, 0.5 mi; Cerulean Warbler Loop Trail, 1.3 mi; Queen of Diamonds Trail, 1.7 mi
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Recognized as a State Important Bird Area, the Skiff Mountain South Preserve holds a variety of important wildlife habitat linked to the 7,000 acres of protected property within the Macedonia Forest Block. The blue-blazed Woodcock Trail starts at Skiff Mountain Road, wraps around a beaver pond and wetlands, and connects to the orange-blazed Cerulean Warbler Loop Trail. Passing vernal pools, a seasonal stream, and a mature hardwood forest, the Cerulean Warbler Loop links to North Kent Road, then to Skiff Mountain Road and back to the beginning via a gravel drive crossing the east edge of the Marvelwood School campus. Branching south from the Cerulean Warbler Loop, the red-blazed Queen of Diamonds Trail cuts through a meadow, across a ridge-top, through a heavily forested area, and back to the meadow, with a steep descent in the middle. The short purple-blazed loop is an interpretive trail featuring information about some of the Preserve’s avian inhabitants.
Distance: Trails in progress
The Avian Preserve consists of a series of attractive meadows and adjacent second-growth forest along the eastern banks of the Housatonic River in North Kent. While there are no official trails, the terrain is relatively easy and the meadow portion is mowed annually and can be explored.
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 is a remote, expansive forest haven spanning 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.
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.
Distance: 1.7 mi to view and back; 3.1 mi through to Cobble Brook Vista and back
The Kent Mountain Preserve features steep, rocky slopes blanketed by mature oak forest and mountain laurel. The beginning of the trail winds steadily up along an old wood road. The trail then darts even more steeply upslope along a single rocky track, crosses a relatively level woodland, and traverses rocky terrain just below the crest of Kent Mountain. Along the climb are charcoal mounds, stone walls, and a rocky promontory offering fantastic views of the Housatonic River Valley and, on clear days, the Catskill Mountains. From the view, one can hike back or continue through to Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust’s Cobble Brook Vista trail system, returning to the Kent Mountain Preserve trailhead via Studio Hill Circle.
Distance: 0.2 mi
Difficulty: Very Easy
The Riverwalk is a level path running across a lawn to the east bank of the Housatonic River, on property that includes the Kent Land Trust office and Marble Valley Farm. The trail honors the late Claire Murphy, one of KLT’s founders.
Distance: Main trail, 0.9 mi; Orange-blazed loop, 0.4 mi
The Bull Mountain Preserve is a spectacular mountaintop woodland featuring distinctive rock outcroppings and amazing views. The green-blazed main trail climbs through a shady hemlock forest, follows old wood roads through a more open oak woodland, and ends at a rocky outcrop with a wide-angle view of the Womenshenuk Valley. From here, the 0.4-mile orange-blazed loop follows winding stone walls along the Preserve’s west boundary, with views opening up here and there along the way, and returns to the main trail.
Distance: 0.8 mi
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
The West Aspetuck Scenic Wetlands Preserve includes an inviting woodland, a red maple swamp, historical stone structures, and a scenic 9-acre beaver pond. The 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.