Catalog of Ridgefield Open Spaces

This catalog is a promotional brochure for the open spaces of  Ridgefield. Ridgefield has approximately 5,200 acres of open space under various jurisdictions.  This represents 23% of the town's total area. By comparison,  New York City's expansive Central Park is about  800 acres. This catalog is devoted to hiking areas under town or state management.

The Ridgefield Walk Book

Those who read this catalog and decide to explore some of these open spaces  are urged to buy The Ridgefield Walk Book © 2006 by the Ridgefield Conservation Commission. That comprehensive book is the source of many of the statistics below.  The book provides a more complete description of each area along with a detailed map of the trails of each.  It is available at the Ridgefield Town Hall, The Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce, Books on the Common and at the Ridgefield Office Supply (Squash's). Price is $7.00.

Table of Contents 

Click on an item below to go to its listing it the catalog. Click on the Back to TOC link to return here.

Aldrich Park

Barrack Hill Refuge

Bennett's Pond

Bobby's Court/Topstone Preserve

Blacksmith Ridge

Brewster Farm

Florida Refuge 

Great Pond Trail

Hemlock Hills/Lake Windwing

John Soluri Preserve

Kiah's Brook Refuge/Titicus Preserve

Liebowitz-Knapp Preserve

Levy Park

Mar-Joy Pond/Casey Lane

Norwalk River Environmental Study Area

Old Sib

Peaceable Refuge

 

Peterson Gorge/Ridgebury Slope

Pine Mountain

Prospect Ridge

Pumping Station Road

Remington Woods

Richardson Park

Shadow Lake

Sarah Bishop

Seth Low Pierrepont State Park 

Spectacle Swamp/Silvermine Ridge

Turner Hill/Ridgebury Farms Trail

Weir Farms National Historic Site/ Nod Hill Refuge

West Mountain McManus Section

West Mountain Reed Section

West Mountain Wetland Walk

Woodcock Nature Center

Aldrich Park

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 65

Time, Minutes: 120

Difficulty: Easy to moderate. Some steep sections.

Features: Woodland trails with many outcroppings of ledge, bolder fields, glacial erratics and stone walls. The Orange Trail is an easy, short walk alongside a stream and wetlands.

Parking/Trail Entrance: At the southern end of the park on New Road, near the junction with Farmingville Road.

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Parking Area and Entrance to Aldrich Park


Barrack Hill Refuge

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 9

Time, Minutes: 20

Difficulty: Easy

Features:. Mica, quartz and feldspar fragments can be found around the old Titicus Mica Quarry on the site

Parking/Trail Entrance: At the cul-de-sac at the end of Settler's Lane.  Also trail access on Barrack Hill Road.

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Old Titicus Mica Quarry in Barrack Hill Refuge


Bennett's Pond

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 440

Time, Minutes: 150 to 180

Difficulty: Easy in low section, steep grade in climb to Pine Mountain

Features: Beautiful large pond, wildlife, connects with Pine Mountain. The Bennett's Pond property is part of the Connecticut State Park system. It is also the southern terminus of the extensive Ives Trail system still under development

Parking/Trail Entrance: Large parking corral on north side of Bennett's Farm Road approximately 3/4 mile from Route 7.

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Looking Across Bennett's Pond from SW Side


Bobby's Court/Topstone Preserve

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 34 (Bobby's) and 9 (Topstone)

Time, Minutes: 60(Bobby's) and 90 (Topstone)

Difficulty: Easy to moderate (Bobby's) and difficult (Topstone)

Features: Bobby's has a fairly steep, wooded trail to start, then becomes flat. Topstone has a low wetlands area followed by a steep, difficult slope to the top.

Parking/Trail Entrance: Park on the east side shoulder of Route 7 north of Topstone Road marked by a wooden sign at the trail entrance.  There is another trail entrance on the left side of Topstone Road.

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Wooded Area of Bobby's Court


Blacksmith Ridge

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 15

Time, Minutes: 80

Difficulty: Generally difficult

Features: Beautiful woodland pool at the south end. A variety of trees and wetlands throughout.

Parking/Trail Entrance: Three choices: 1) cul-de-sac on Blacksmith Ridge Road; 2) road shoulder on Woodcock Lane and 3) side of road at mailbox #184 on Peaceable Ridge Road

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Trail Entrance Near Woodcock Lane


Brewster Farm/Jones Trail

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 103  Time, Minutes: 60 Difficulty: Easy in west section, Some short climbs in east section.

Features: Wetlands woods trail, views of farm area. The town of Ridgefield has a Conservation Easement on the Brewster Farm. Hikers must keep within the areas marked by the Jones Trail.  The farm fields and buildings are not for public access.

Parking/Trail Entrance: Cul-de-sac at north end of Lounsbury Lane

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Trail Section: Unpaved Section of Lounsbury Lane


Florida Refuge

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 63

Time, Minutes: 90

Difficulty: Moderate with some hills.

Features: Wetlands trails via bridges and walkways. Large boulders, overlooks, attractive picnicking sites.

Two Parking Choices: 1) Shoulder on west side of Florida Road near trail head and 2) shoulder on south side of Florida Hill Rd near mailbox #160 and trailhead.

Three Trail Entrances: 1) West Side of Florida Road near house no. 234, 2) entrance on south Side of Florida Hill Road near house #160 and 3) further down near house #216.

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Pond in Florida Refuge


Great Pond Trail

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 20

Time, Minutes: 30

Difficulty: Moderate with some hills.

Features: The trail climbs the hill to the west of Great Pond with some impressive rock outcrops and views of the pond.  And connects to a trail from Laurelwood.

Parking: Ample parking in the Martin Park parking lot on Great Pond Road.

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View from near the top of Great Pond Trail


Hemlock Hills/Lake Windwing

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 421

Time, Minutes: 150

Difficulty: Easy to difficult

Features: Wide variety of trails with trees, bushes and wildflowers. Deep, picturesque gorge near Pine Mountain entrance

Parking/Trail Entrance: Ample parking on the property and trail entrances at North Shore Drive, Ned's Mountain Rd., South Shore Drive ball field, and Pine Mountain Road.

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Ravine in Near Pine Mountain Side of Hemlock Hills


John Soluri Preserve

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 46

Time, Minutes: 45

Difficulty: Easy

Features: Former Outpost Nursery property has a wide variety of trees.

Parking/Trail Entrance: Dead end at Linden Road, parking for one car. Driveway for Aquarion Company pumping station off Norrans Ridge Drive has parking for two cars on shoulder (shown in the picture at the right). Feel free to walk, but do not drive beyond the wooden gate.

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Parking for Two Cars and Trail Entrance, Right


Kiah's Brook Refuge/Titicus Preserve

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 43 (total)

Time, Minutes: 60 (combined system)

Difficulty: Easy

Features: Trail follows Titicus River with views of a swamp and brook. The northern end is mostly forest.

Parking/Trail Entrance: Park in the lot between Scotland and Barlow Mtn. Schools for access to the red and yellow trails there. Or park close to the Barlow Mtn. School play area to enter the other end of the trail system there.  There's also access from Barlow Mtn. Road.

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Heading Toward Ledges Road on the Yellow Trail


Liebowitz-Knapp Preserve

(Click for printable map)

28 Acres between Bennett's Farm Road and Pierrepont State Park and connects Pierrepont to Hemlock Hills and other town parks

Time: Approximately 30-40 minutes

Features: A 1 mile loop with interesting rocky knolls, seasonal streams, a cascade and a vernal pool in the spring

Parking: At the cul-de-sac on Whitlock Road or on a small pull-off on Mountain Road where there's a connecting trail

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Levy Park

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 46

Time, Minutes: 40

Difficulty: Generally moderate except for the Settler's Lane segment, which is long and steep.

Features: Variety of terrain--meadow, woodland, wetland and stream.

Parking/Trail Entrance: Parking corral for two cars on Barrack Hill Road. Space on cul-de-sac at the end of Settler's Lane. Trail entrances near these parking areas.

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Rock Outcrop on Yellow Trail


Mar-Joy Pond/Casey Lane

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 45

Time, Minutes: 45

Difficulty: Easy in Casey Lane section, difficult in Mar-Joy Pond section

Features: Pegmatite mine remains, mountain laurel, spring wildflowers and waterfall on trail to Marjoy Pond

Parking/Trail Entrance: Old quarry site at the end of Casey Lane

The Mar-Joy Pond area has no developed trails beyond access to the pond

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Looking South Across Mar-Joy Pond


Norwalk River Environmental Study Area

Acres: 9

Time, Minutes: 30

Difficulty: Easy

Features: Picturesque Norwalk River pond, woodland and wetland trails.

Parking/Trail Entrance: East side of Route 7 just north of Simpaug Turnpike and on the north side of Simpaug Turnpike

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Wetlands Bounded by Stone Outcropping


Old Sib

Acres: 4

Time, Minutes: 40

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Features: Spring wildflowers and stone walls

Parking/Trail Entrance: Long, wide shoulder on Wilton Road West--eastern side. The trail entrance is at the southern end of this shoulder.

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Beginning of Trail Near Wilton Road West


Peaceable Refuge

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 16

Time, Minutes: 30

Difficulty: Easy

Features: Ferns, birds and wildflowers

Parking/Trail Entrance Cul-de-sac on Revere Drive

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Looking South Toward Peaceable Street


Peterson Gorge/Ridgebury Slope

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 16 (Peterson), 14 (Ridgebury)

Time, Minutes: 30 (each)

Difficulty: Fairly easy (both)

Features: These trails are connected. Between them they have streams, wetlands, and forested areas.

Parking/Trail Entrance: Park at the cul-de-sac at the end of Partridge Drive or Virginia Court. Second choice: Park in the Ridgebury School parking lot and walk to the south end of the school grasslands for entrance to the junction of these trails. Third choice: The north end of the school property has an entrance to the north end of the Peterson Gorge trail.

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Snake Lake Wetlands in Peterson Gorge


Pine Mountain

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 368

Time, Minutes: 120

Difficulty: Difficult, with steep sections over rocks. Links with Hemlock Hills and Bennett's Pond to comprise an all-day hik.

Features: Mountain laurel, remains of Charles Ives' picnic fireplace, panoramic overlooks from his cottage site including a view of Long Island Sound.

Parking: Five-car area at the trail head at the end of Pine Mountain Road.

Trail Entrance: Across from the parking area.

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Scenic Overlook


Prospect Ridge

Acres: 34

Time, Minutes: 30

Difficulty: Easy

Features: Woods and wetlands.

Parking: At the skating rink on Prospect Ridge.

Trail Entrance: Walk from the parking lot and along the southern edge of the outdoor field to arrive at the trail entrance.

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Open Woodland Section


Pumping Station Road

Acres: 16

Time, Minutes: 30

Difficulty: Easy to moderately easy

Features: Wetlands sections and woods with a wide variety of vegetation and animals.

Parking/Trail Entrance: Parking and trail entrance at road shoulder which is about 200 feet north of the small bridge on Pumping Station Road.

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Trail Section with Woods and Wetlands


Remington Woods

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 26

Time, Minutes: 30

Difficulty: Easy

Features: Meadow, wetlands, and forested area.

Parking: At the cul-de-sac at the end of Oak Knoll Road

Trail Entrance: On the left (west)side of the cul-de-sac or on the east side of the road just before the cul-de-sac

 

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Remington Woods near Barry Ave


Richardson Park

Acres: 29

Time, Minutes: 40

Difficulty: Easy

Features: Easy paths and hiking trails; views of Lake Mamanasco; picnic facilities

Street Location: West Mountain Road across from Ridgefield High School

Parking: Large parking area at the end of the entrance driveway

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View of Lake Mamanasco from Richardson Park


Sarah Bishop

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 39

Time, Minutes: 30

Difficulty: Easy

Features: Deserted railroad bed, wetlands

Parking: Left side of Sarah Bishop Road near trail sign or at the cul-de-sac at end of road

Trail Entrance: Road shoulder on Sarah Bishop Rd.

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Looking West on the Old Railroad Bed

 

 


Seth Low Pierrepont State Park 

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 313

Time, Minutes: 120 for entire system

Difficulty: Easy to difficult depending on trail.

Features: Swamp areas; views of Pierrepont Lake, Redding hills and (rarely) Long Island Sound from the top of Barlow Mountain.

Parking/Trail Entrance: 2 Choices:

1. Park main entrance on Barlow Mountain Road
2. Cul-de-sac at end of Pinecrest Drive

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View Across the Southern End of Pierrepont Lake


Shadow Lake

Acres: 10 (estimated)

Time, Minutes: 20

Difficulty: Easy

Features: Pristine, undeveloped open space. 

Parking/Trail Entrance: Driveway on Shadow Lake Road at the entrance to the ballfield.

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Shadow Lake


Spectacle Swamp/Silvermine Ridge

Acres: 50

Time, Minutes: 20

Difficulty: Easy

Features: Easy walking path, spring wildflowers

Parking/Trail Entrance: Road shoulder on Wilton Road East

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Looking South Along Main Path


Turner Hill/Ridgebury Farms Trail

Acres: 94

Time, Minutes: 40

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Features: Walk along wetlands and farm fields. Trails are undeveloped.

Parking/Trail Entrance: Homeowner's association parking lot at the corner of Turner Hill Road and Barnum Place.

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Open Field at the Start of the Trail


Weir Farms National Historic Site/Nod Hill Refuge

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 57 and 29

Time, Minutes: 120

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Features: Picturesque views of the farm. Easy walk around the pond constructed by Alden Weir. Rougher terrain connecting with Nod Hill Refuge. The National Historical Site portion contains the studios and residences of artists Alden Weir and Mahonri Young. Guided tours are available

Parking: Large parking area on Nod Hill Road across from historical buildings.

Trail Entrance: On Nod Hill Road, about two minutes' walk north of parking area.

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A View from the Northern End of the Pond


West Mountain McManus Section

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 28

Time, Minutes: 25

Difficulty: Easy

Features: Scenic walkways over streams, picturesque pond

Parking/Trail Entrance: On Oscaleta Road, 0.4 mile from the intersection of Oscaleta and West Mountain Roads (across the street from the Reed section).

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Pond on McManus Trail


West Mountain Reed Section

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 27

Time, Minutes: 40 minutes

Difficulty: Moderately easy

Features: Variety of Spring wildflowers; picturesque bridge and stream

Parking/Trail Entrance: On Oscaleta Road, 0.4 mile from the intersection of Oscaleta and West Mountain Roads (across the street from the McManus section).

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Near the Trail Entrance


West Mountain Wetland Walk

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 9

Time, Minutes: 20

Difficulty: Easy

Features: Variety of Spring wildflowers, birds

Parking: Cul-de-sac on Sharp Hill Road

Trail Entrance: Old driveway between two columns on West Mountain Road

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Looking West on the Elevated Walkway


Woodcock Nature Center

(Click for printable map)

Acres: 146

Time, Minutes: 45

Difficulty: Easy

Features: Scenic pond, views of Spectacle Brook, boardwalk extending into a swamp.

Parking: Space for many cars at the end of entrance driveway on Deer Run Road

Facility Entrance: Driveway off Deer Run Road at Ridgefield-Wilton border.

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Wilton Side of Pond Looking Towards Ridgefield End