Enjoy our Preserves
Mine Hill Preserve
Recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, Mine Hill is the site of a 19th century iron mine and furnace complex. The Roxbury Land Trust acquired the preserve in 1978 and restored and stabilized the significant stone and brick structural remains of the furnace complex. These historic structures are located 0.2 miles from the kiosk near the parking lot. At the complex interpretive signs detail the iron-making process, Mine Hill’s history and its impact on the region. The Main Loop (blue blazes) is a moderately difficult, 3.5-mile trail.
Donated by Arthur L. Carter in 1997, the Carter Preserve may only be accessed off the Main Loop in the Mine Hill Preserve. The Carter Preserve Trail starts at the Quarry Bridge, which is about 1.5 miles from the historic structures. A moderate, 2-mile loop trail (red blazes) begins at Mine Hill’s Quarry Bridge and ascends gradually uphill and loops back to rejoin the perimeter trail of Mine Hill at the Quarry Bridge. Vernal pools, farm fields and distant winter views await hikers.
Battle Swamp Brook Preserve & Raven Rock Preserve
From the small parking area off Judd’s Bridge Road, a trail passes alongside Battle Swamp Brook for two-thirds of its length, then continues through light forest and over a stone wall to come out on Battle Swamp Road. Hikers may either double back or turn left off Battle Swamp Road and walk on the quiet dirt road back to Judd’s Bridge Road. At the bridge, turn left and head back to the parking lot with the Shepaug River on the right and Raven Rock Preserve on the left. The relatively flat trail is 1.35 miles from Judd’s Bridge Road to Battle Swamp Road and back. The hike is about 2.2. miles if Battle Swamp Road and Judd’s Bridge Road are used to create a loop.
Emily Griffith Beardsley Preserve, Humphrey Preserve & Moosehorn Access
These beautiful preserves offer two long loop trails with steep climbs over ridges and glacial boulders, rolling terrain and hemlock forests. Both trails pass by an historic sawmill site and Caroline’s Glen, where the brook cascades through a rocky gorge.
Horrigan Family Preserve
Located near the intersection of Painter Hill Road and Cross Brook Road, this preserve is accessed by a 15-foot access easement off Painter Hill Road and protects a portion of Cross Brook. No trails currently exist. Richard Horrigan, Robert Horrigan and William Horrigan donated the preserve in 2006 in memory of William Horrigan Jr. and Richard Tyler Horrigan.
Gavel Family Farm Preserve
With a peak elevation of 870 feet and broad expanses of gently rolling meadows, the Gavel Family Farm Preserve commands stunning views to the south, east and west. Walkers may enjoy a perimeter path around the edge of working farmland during the growing season. The yellow trail on the east side connects to the Lilly Preserve, with a picnic table and viewing platform of meadow habitat.
The Roxbury Land Trust acquired the preserve with the help of Frank Gavel in 2001 as part of the “Save Our Farms” campaign.
The Lilly Preserve’s Blue Loop is 1.5 miles and of moderate difficulty. It passes through marshes and wooded swampland near Jack's Brook. Hikers may encounter cattle grazing in the field off Good Hill Road and will see mounds of tussock sedge and red maples.
The 1-mile Red Loop traverses the upper wooded portion of the preserve and features mixed hardwoods, an apple orchard, sawmill site, mill pond, historic stone walls and rock outcroppings. Of moderate difficulty, it includes some steep climbs.
From the Red Loop, a half-mile Yellow Trail connects to the Gavel Family Farm Preserve.
Donated to the Roxbury Land Trust in 1997 by Walter and Carole Matthau, this preserve is an active hayfield and feature open scenic eastern views.
Donated to the Roxbury Land Trust by William and Rose Styron in 1997, the Styron Preserve features a beautiful open meadow, old-growth trees and a perimeter path.
Featuring the historic one-room Good Hill schoolhouse which is open to the public once a year, this preserve was donated by Richard and Anne Widmark in two phases, the first in 1997 and the second in 2004 to expand and link to other preserves. Visitors may enjoy DOLMEN 1997, a sculpture by Tom Doyle in memory of Jean Widmark.
The 3-acre Baldwin Connector connects Widmark Preserve to the Good Hill Farm Preserve.
Arthur Miller & Inge Morath Miller Preserve
Located at the intersection of Tophet Road and Hoop Hill Road, this preserve was donated by the estate of Arthur Miller in 2005 in honor of the late playwright and his wife, a well-known photographer, to expand the Roxbury Land Trust’s Greenbelt. The preserve, which features an historic wood road, pasture and woodlands, links to the Miller Preserve Addition and is across Tophet Road from the 27-acre Widmark Preserve, which in turn connects to the 22-acre Styron Preserve and 32-acre Matthau Preserve. These preserves link through the 3-acre Baldwin Connector to the 467-acre Good Hill Farm Preserve.
Miller Preserve Addition
Featuring beautiful undisturbed woodlands, this preserve is part of the Greenbelt Blue Trail with a Painter Hill Red Loop of 0.88 mile. Rebecca Miller, daughter of playwright Arthur Miller, donated nearly 100 acres along the Woodbury-Roxbury border in 2015. The gift followed her successful challenge to the Roxbury Land Trust to raise the funds necessary to buy a 20-acre parcel adjacent to the land she wanted to donate to connect the land to Painter Hill Road. Her donation, coupled with the generosity of neighbors, created an extended 720-acre greenbelt that now stretches from Painter Hill Road to the Good Hill Farm Preserve.
Good Hill Farm Preserve
A working farm straddling the Roxbury and Woodbury border, Good Hill Farm offers sweeping eastern and western views, woodlands and important grassland bird and wildlife habitat. Parking is located 0.5 miles east of Tophet Road on Route 317/Good Hill Road. The 3.31-mile Blue Trail begins here and goes all the way to the Painter Hill Red Loop across the entire Greenbelt. Roundtrip, the trail is more than 6 miles and moderate to difficult, due to its length and terrain. An easy 1-mile Red Farm Loop east of the barnyard offers a shorter option.
Baldwin Preserve & Bray Preserve
From the preserve sign on Lower County Road, the trail leads through a grove of mature beech trees distinguished by their smooth, silvery bark. The trail climbs gradually through a stand of Mountain Laurel shrubs and oak trees. At the crest of the hill, a beautiful forest opening affords distant views of Good Hill when the leaves are off the trees. The trail begins a gradual descent, past one of seven vernal pools in the preserve and onto an old road. The path forks at the old stone wall. To the right, the trail leads hikers along van Deusen swamp to a former beaver lodge and picnic site. The left fork leads down the hill, passes by the edge of van Deusen swamp and comes out at Route 317. Hikers can either double-back and retrace their steps for a 1.5-mile roundtrip hike or continue carefully across Route 317 to the trail in the Lilly Preserve.
van Deusen Preserve
Located 0.3 mile on the right after turning off Route 317 with parking along the roadside, the van Deusen Preserve connects to the Baldwin Preserve. A short, planked trail leads down from Bacon Road to a small viewing deck overlooking a swamp, which is home to waterfowl, beaver and other wildlife. Jack’s Brook also intersects this preserve, which was donated by Maidza van Deusen in 1986.
Natalie White Preserve
The easy 0.25-mile trail heads north across an open field, then downhill toward a wooded area with a boardwalk. It then crosses a stone wall and to the hilltop and Natalie White Memorial sculpture which was created by Natalie’s father, sculptor Robert White. A lovely spot for a quiet picnic, the hilltop affords distant views of the rolling hills and farmlands of Roxbury and beyond. The preserve was donated by William and Rose Styron in 1975 and 2001, with the donation of 0.41 acres by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Adams in 1976.
Deep in the woods, the Glaves Preserve is forever wild and has no trails or public access.
Brian E. Tierney Preserve
Located near the intersection of Squire Road and Apple Lane about 0.5 mile from Route 67 or 0.9 mile from South Street, the Tierney Preserve offers a 1.8-mile trail loop of moderate difficulty requiring some steep, rocky climbing along a high rim that forms the western boundary. Sturdy shoes are recommended. Hikers may opt for a shorter, less difficult walk along Jack's Brook and the edge of a meadow to the Cascades, a series of waterfalls. A spur trail links this to the Allen S. Hurlburt Preserve.
Allen S. Hurlburt Preserve
From the trailhead off Flag Swamp Road, follow the blazes through the gently rolling wooded hills and past stone walls and pristine wetlands for 0.5 miles until the trail joins the main trail along the high rim of the Tierney Preserve, for an additional 1.8-mile trail loop of moderate difficulty with steep climbs. Sturdy shoes are recommended.
Sarah Hurlburt Houck donated the 25-acre preserve in 2004 in memory of her father, Allen S. Hurlburt, who was the First Selectman of Roxbury for nearly 30 years.
Leander Woods Preserve
Featuring Eastern Hemlocks and stone walls, the Leander Woods Preserve has no trails and is designated as forever wild.
River's Edge Preserve
Bordering the eastern bank of Lake Lillinonah at the mouth of the Shepaug River, this preserve offers excellent fishing access to the lake, as well as beautiful views of the river. The 1-mile trail loop of moderate difficulty starts about 50 yards down the driveway from the parking area. Turn left at the large boulder with a blue arrow. Continue along the Princess Pine-paved pathway past the wetlands and vernal pool on your left. You will cross a small stream and come to a series of steps down a steep embankment to the lake. Travel along the edge of the lake and look for numerous sites along the way for fishing. The trail continues across Sherman Park and continues up a hillside.
River Road Preserve, Erbacher Preserve & Golden Harvest Preserve
Situated along the scenic Shepaug River, all three preserves are accessed through the River Road Preserve parking area off River Road or from the Botsford Hill Road parking lot at Orzech Family Preserve via the Kress Family Trail.
The River Road trail is a 1.5-mile loop of moderate difficulty with some steep climbs and access to the Shepaug River. The Erbacher trail starts to the left after crossing Volunteers Bridge (0.75-mile in from the start of River Road trail) and is a 1.2-mile loop of easy to moderate hiking along an old railroad bed and through hilly terrain. To access the Golden Harvest Preserve, turn left after crossing Volunteers Bridge and follow the railroad bed to the active farm fields on the left. Alternatively, approach from the Kress Family Trail on the Orzech Preserve from the Botsford Hill parking lot.
Currently with no trails and no public access, the McMahon Preserve is designated forever wild. Joan Erbacher McMahan donated the first 44 acres of this preserve to the Roxbury Land Trust in 1991 and continued to add to the preserve through the years to bring it to its present size of 96 acres. McMahan also left a bequest to the Roxbury Land Trust to enable future land preservation efforts.
Currently with no trails and no public access, the Fulkerson Preserve is designated forever wild. Charles Fulkerson donated the 9 acres in 1995 to create the preserve.
Orzech Family Preserve
A working farm with views and an historic railroad bed along the Shepaug River, the Orzech Preserve is excellent for gentle walks and cross-county skiing. From the parking area off Botsford Hill Road, enter the preserve around the blue gate leading to the railroad bed and the Kress Family Trail, which connects to the River Road, Golden Harvest and Erbacher Preserves. Please respect private property and use only marked parking areas.
Jagiri Loomba Preserve
Offering access to the Shepaug River for fishing near the intersection of Mine Hill Road, this preserve has no trails. N. Paul Loomba and Mary Adams Loomba donated the preserve to the land trust in 1997.
The Greenbelt stretches along the eastern ridge of Roxbury from the Good Hill Farm Preserve to Painter Hill Road in Woodbury totaling 720 connected, permanently protected acres. Beginning at the trailhead at Good Hill Farm Preserve on Good Hill Road, the trails meander through an old orchard, across streams, into the woodlands and through open meadows with variable terrain.
The red farm loop, east of the barnyard, is an easy 1-mile loop with occasional hilly terrain. The blue trail of 3.31 miles goes from the Trailhead all the way to Painter Hill Road. Hikers can exit the blue trail on the old wood road onto Tophet Road near the Good Hill Schoolhouse, Widmark Preserve, and walk back to the Trailhead along Tophet Road, which provides sweeping views across active farm fields. Or hikers can follow the 0.81-mile white trail on the Miller Preserve back to Tophet Road. The red Painter Hill Loop of 0.88 miles covers uphill terrain with western views.
Geraldine Stutz Preserve
The 14-acre Geraldine R. Stutz Preserve protects woodlands and watercourses and is adjacent to Roxbury Town Open Space off Minor Bridge Road. Currently there are no trails on the preserve, but the Land Trust is preparing the property for public access. The property was donated by Ramarax Holdings LLLP and Defer LLLP in 2020.