Bordering the eastern bank of the Shepaug River, the River Road Preserve affords beautiful views of the river, farmlands and hemlock-covered knolls. The 1.5-mile loop trail starts at the parking lot and overlooks the pond and Pollinator Pathway garden. After circling the pond, the trail enters the woods. At the trail loop sign, bear right to hike first along the river. Please note that fly-fishing only is allowed in this section of the river. The south end of the preserve is the site of a picnic table, map kiosk and a bridge across the Shepaug River, which connects to Erbacher, Golden Harvest and Orzech Family Preserves. At this point, hikers have three choices: 1) retrace their steps for the easiest way back, 2) complete the loop, knowing that a steep climb and descent are ahead, or 3) cross the bridge and explore the other three preserves.
Frasier McCann gifted the 57-acre River Road Preserve to the Roxbury Land Trust in 1982.
There are several access points and distance opportunities available to hike the Erbacher Preserve. For a loop hike, cross Volunteers Bridge and turn left on the old Shepaug Railroad bed. About 0.4 miles ahead, the rail turns right and begins to climb to its highest point. Watch for signs where the trail turns sharply to the left and begins a gradual descent back down to the river. When you reach the large open meadow, you have two options: 1) finish the loop to the railroad bed and return to Volunteers Bridge, or 2) follow the signs along the edge of the meadow. The trail then leads to an historic stagecoach road and out to Minor Bridge Road.
Joan Erbacher McMahan and Edward Erbacher gifted 262 acres to establish this preserve in 1984. Lawrence Tuchman and John Lamb donated an additional 34 acres in 2003.
To access this preserve, turn right after crossing Volunteers Bridge and follow the railroad bed to the farm fields on the right. The preserve also lies along the Shepaug River to the left of Volunteers Bridge.
Golden Harvest Farm Ltd. Partnership gifted 100.5 acres to the Roxbury Land Trust in 1993 to create this preserve.