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"A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children." — John James Audubon


Bulkeley Hill Preserve

Gateway Preserve

Our only property with marked trails! 3 miles of wooded trails, with elevation and wetlands. 

There are  several well-marked trails on the property which are available to the public for passive recreation such as hiking, birding, or snowshoeing. Trails are being improved and expanded over time. Outdoor classroom area planned!

When visiting the preserve, we ask that you stay on the marked trails and please be respectful of our neighbors on surrounding private property. 


- Open from sunrise to sunset every day. 

​- Sorry, NO hunting, fishing, horses, ATVs or mountain biking permitted. 


- Please park in the gravel lot (across from the mailbox at 243 Bulkeley Hill Rd, Colchester, CT) to access the trails. 

- 3 miles of wooded trails, some elevation and wetland. 

- The map (click on button to the left) does not show the new Blue and Yellow Trails yet. Trails are clearly marked.

- Leashed dogs welcome, pet waste must be bagged and taken with you for disposal off property.


- Take out anything you bring in, including all trash.

- Sorry, NO hunting, fishing, horses, ATVs or mountain biking permitted. 

Bulkeley Hill property is a 130-acre preserve, 15-acres of which were originally deeded to the CLT by the developer of a proposed 115-acre, 44-lot subdivision. The donation was a town-mandated open space set-aside for the first phase of development, which 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 failed to make payment on his loan.


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


The preserve provides a scenic view to travelers on Bulkeley Hill Road.  It supports a variety of wildlife with its 23-acre wetland system that includes a small pond, intermittent streams, and vernal pools. 


Once part of the original Bulkeley farm, this property contains many stone walls, and a large sugarbush, tapped for the first time in March 2014.  

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. 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.  The parcel was purchased from Chet Reneson on July 11, 2007. The trust submitted 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 and the CLT's purchase was quickly followed by a purchase of an adjoining 14 acres by the State of CT DEEP, for a total preservation of 32 acres. NO MARKED TRAILS

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.  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.  It is accessible via an old car path at the end of Usher Swamp road.  NO MARKED TRAILS

Tangletree Farm Easement

The 86-acre Tangletree Farm has been an active horse-breeding farm since 1976, breeding and boarding horses from all over the United States.  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.  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. NOT OPEN FOR PUBLIC USE, PRIVATE FARM PROPERTY

Palakawitz 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. The Palakewitz easement property contains vernal pools, wildlife trails, many beautiful stone walls, prime agricultural soils, diverse forest and connectivity to other open space. NOT OPEN FOR PUBLIC USE, PRIVATE FAMILY PROPERTY

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.  The enlarged parcel provides important ecological benefits, significant wildlife habitat, wetlands protection and open space for public enjoyment. NO MARKED TRAILS


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.


(These lands are NOT managed by CLT and are private or state property)
Cato Corner Farm

White Oak Farm
Meadow Brook Wildlife Management Area
Babcock Pond Wildlife Management Area
Airline Trail Greenway
Day Pond State Park
Salmon River State Forest

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