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Bulkeley Hill Preserve


Located on Bulkeley Hill Road, this preserve is the currently the only property with marked trails. It also has a gravel parking lot for off street parking. The CLT stewardship committee has added 2 bog bridges over streams; the trailhead kiosk with signage and trail benches were both Eagle Scout projects.


We have outdoor classroom in the planning stages for 2024!

Of the 130-acre preserve, 15 acres were originally deeded to the Trust by the developer of a proposed 115-acre, 44-lot subdivision to be named "The Forest". The 15-acre donation was a town-mandated open space set-aside for the first phase of development.

But the economy changed, the development boom slowed, and "The Forest" was never built. In August 2016, CLT was able to negotiate a bargain sale for the remaining 115-acres with the lender who was left holding the property after the original developer defaulted. Through a CLCC 

Once part of the original Bulkeley family farm, this property contains many original stone walls, and a large sugarbush (sugar maple grove), privately managed and tapped for the first time in March 2014.  Sometimes the maple syrup ends up at our events!

Why is it important? 

Two thirds of this property hold critical headwaters of the Eightmile River with the remaining third flowing into the Salmon River watershed.  


The preserve supports a variety of wildlife with its 23-acre wetland system that includes a small pond, intermittent streams, and vernal pools. 

Gateway Preserve


The Gateway property is an 18 acre parcel on Bull Hill Road in Colchester bordered by the Salmon River State Forest and the Airline Trail State Park greenway.

The parcel was purchased from Chet Reneson on July 11, 2007. To accomplish this, the CLT submitted for and was awarded a State of Connecticut Open Space and Watershed Grant in the amount of $95,000. The Bafflin Foundation, located in Providence, RI also awarded a grant for $20,000 toward the purchase. In addition, a $10,000 challenge grant was successfully matched and numerous private donations made the preservation of this beautiful property possible. 

The CLT's purchase was quickly followed by a purchase by the State of CT DEEP of an adjoining 14 acres, for a total preservation of 32 acres.

Why is it important? 

This forested property, with its tumbling brooks and waterfalls, lies in the heart of our Salmon River corridor making it a high priority for the CLT.  


Whispering Winds

The Whispering Winds property is a 25 acre preserve that was deeded to the Colchester Land Trust by the developer of the Whispering Winds subdivision on Usher Swamp Road as a town-mandated subdivision set-aside.  It is accessible via an old car path at the end of Usher Swamp road.


Why is it important? 

This lovely wooded property lies in the headwaters of the federally designated, "Wild and Scenic" Eightmile River and abuts land owned and managed for open space by the East Haddam Fish and Game Club. 


Tangletree Farm Easement

The 86-acre Tangletree Quarter Horse Farm has been an active horse-breeding farm since 1976, breeding and boarding horses from all over the United States. 

This beautiful farm was preserved through an easement purchased by the Colchester Land Trust made possible by a grant from the US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and a loan from The Conservation Fund.


Why is it important?

Once a dairy farm, the property consists of more than 90% prime or locally important agricultural soils, contains a significant wetland and protects a large aquifer.  


The parcel is adjacent to the Lebanon town line, lies very near the 687-acre Bartlett Brook Wildlife Management Area and is in close proximity to hundreds of acres of protected farms in Lebanon.  It is also contiguous with the 250-acre White Oak Farm open space set-aside. 

Private Property, No Access. 


Palakewitz Easement


The Palakewitz property is a 62 acre conservation easement generously donated to the CLT on December 27th, 2007 by the owner, Toney Palakawitz.


The land lies in the heart of the Salmon River Watershed and is bordered to the south by River Road and by working farm land to the north by Rt. 2, providing this 4 lane highway with scenic views.  The property is bordered to the west by the Salmon River State forest (one narrow private property lies between the forest and the easement) and to the east by a large privately held property.

Why is it important?

This easement property contains vernal pools, wildlife trails, many beautiful stone walls, prime agricultural soils, diverse forest and connectivity to other open space. 

Private Property, No Access. 


McDonald Road Property


The McDonald Road Property began as a 4 acre building lot donated to the Colchester Land Trust by Mr. David Drew for its monetary, rather than conservation, value. To this end, the property has served the CLT well as we have been able to use it as collateral in obtaining loans for the acquisition of other properties whose conservation value will be preserved in perpetuity.


In June of 2018, Joseph Piechta donated an additional 52-acres, adjacent to the original lot, as part of a town-mandated open space set-aside. 

Why is it important?

The enlarged parcel provides important ecological benefits, significant wildlife habitat, and wetlands protection.


Other Protected Land

Partnership Project with Town of Colchester:

RUBY II Property Donation

In 2009, the CLT joined forces with the Town of Colchester by donating $42,000 toward the purchase of an important 31-acre parcel of land bordering the town's own 117-acre Ruby and Elizabeth Cohen Woodlands Preserve bringing the total size of the preserve to 148 acres. 


This preserve holds two short, marked trails, two ponds, a grassy picnic area, and a marsh viewing area. It is owned and managed by the Town of Colchester Parks and Recreation Department and is open to the public. See the website HERE.

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Other Open Space To Visit in Colchester

These properties are not managed by Colchester Land Trust, but we do hold events at, or in partnership with, these locations from time to time. 

Cato Corner Farm and Cheese Shop

"One of my life long goals was to make sure our land would be preserved for future generations.  I am pleased to say that we have two farm protection easements on the land.  The first is from the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Grassland Reserve Program, protecting all of our pasture land from development or cultivation.  The second is an easement on the entire farm held by Connecticut Farmland Trust." - Liz MacAlister, Owner, Farmer


If you live here in Colchester, follow Food and Wine Magazine, or just love cheese, and somehow still don't know about Cato Corner Farm, let us introduce you to the amazing,  talented, award winning cheese mongers of Connecticut Farmstead Raw Milk and Pasteurized Cheese. 


Liz MacAlister generously invites Colchester Land Trust to lead a Pasture Tour on the preserved land each early Fall, during their open farm day, to educate visitors on the importance of conservation, protecting lands, and saving farms. 

Town and State Open Space

Click the name to visit the website

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