Connecticut Audubon Society’s Sanctuaries

Larsen Sanctuary trail

Although some of our sanctuaries are managed primarily for wildlife habitat and have limited access, most have extensive trail systems for you to enjoy. Pictured here is the wetland trail at the Larsen Sanctuary in Fairfield.

The Connecticut Audubon Society’s 19 Sanctuaries offer visitors a range of ecosystems and habitats, where they can observe birds and wildlife, hike on trails, and enjoy nature. Interpretive signage provides information, insights, and unique perspectives.

Most of the Sanctuaries are open to the public daily year-round, from dawn to dusk. We ask that all visitors observe nature etiquette, including:

  • No camping, hunting, trapping, or fishing
  • No collecting or destroying plants or wildlife
  • No dogs allowed
  • No motorized vehicles
  • Used marked trails only
  • Do not litter; leave no trace behind
  • Do not damage or destroy anything on the property

Thank you for helping us preserve the plants and wildlife in each Sanctuary for all to enjoy.

Trail Wood: The Edwin Way Teale Memorial Sanctuary

2013_EdChoiceLogo93 Kenyon Road, Hampton

The Trail Wood Sanctuary consists of 168 acres with well-developed trails that access woodland, field, wetland, and pond habitats – all abounding with wildlife. This is the site of Pulitzer-prize willing author and naturalist Edwin Way Teale’s home, and subject of many of his publications. Teale’s writing cabin and a small museum are open to the public by appointment only. Resident staff naturalists serve as caretakers and offer guided walks of the property throughout the year.

The Trail Wood Sanctuary is run by the Center at Pomfret, which provides many educational programs and events here. Please look at the Center at Pomfret’s page for information about these programs.

Trail Wood Sanctuary Map

Directions:

From the junction of Routes 6 and 97: Follow Route 97 north for two miles, through the town of Hampton, turn left onto Kenyon Road. Entrance to Trail Wood is on the left, marked with a sign. Please park on the visitor’s parking lot.

From the junction of Routes 97 and 44: Follow Route 97 south for 5.2 miles, take sharp right onto Kenyon Road. Entrance to Trail Wood is on the left, marked with a sign. Please park on the visitor’s parking lot.

Birdcraft Sanctuary

314 Unquowa Road, Fairfield

The Birdcraft Sanctuary was established in 1914 by Mabel Osgood Wright, conservationist and founder of Connecticut Audubon Society, as the first songbird sanctuary in the country. The Sanctuary is adjacent to the Birdcraft Museum and consists of 6 acres of upland habitat with trails and a teaching bridge and learning pavilion that span a 1-acre pond.

Directions:

From I-95: Take Exit 21 Mill Plain Road, and head north for about 0.5 miles. At the first stop sign, turn right onto Unquowa Road. Continue straight under the I-95 overpass, and immediately turn left into the driveway and parking lot of the Birdcraft Museum.

From the Merritt Parkway: Take Exit 44. Northbound: Turn right at the end of the ramp onto Congress Street. At the first stop sign, turn left onto Burr Street. Continue straight (Burr Street turns into Mill Plain Road) to the fourth stop sign. Turn left onto Unquowa Road, and follow the directions above. Southbound: Turn left at the first light, left at the second light, and right at the next light onto Congress Street. Follow the directions above.

From I-84: Take Routes 8 or 25 or I-91 to the Merritt Parkway, and follow the directions above.

More on the Birdcraft Sanctuary here.

Roy and Margot Larsen Wildlife Sanctuary

2325 Burr Street, Fairfield

The Larsen Sanctuary, adjacent to the Center at Fairfield, is one of the Society’s most actively used sanctuaries. The property features streams, ponds, forest, and fields that are managed for their diverse plant and animal communities. There are seven miles of trails and boardwalks with interpretive signage, including the Chiboucas Special Use Trail. A brochure and trail map are available at the Center. There is a nominal admission fee for nonmembers or nonresidents of Fairfield.

Directions:

From I-95: Take Exit 21 Mill Plain Road and go north for approximately 4.5 miles. The Center and Sanctuary are on your left. (After the third stop sign, Mill Plain Road becomes Burr Street.)

From the Merritt Parkway: Take Exit 44. Northbound: Turn right at the end of the ramp onto Congress Street. At the first stop sign, turn right onto Burr Street. The Center and Sanctuary are 0.9 mile along on the left. Southbound: Turn left at the first light, left at the second light, and right at the next light onto Congress Street. Follow the directions above.

From I-84: Take Routes 8 or 25 or I-91 to the Merritt Parkway, and follow the directions above.

Smith-Hubbell Wildlife Refuge and Bird Sanctuary

Milford Point Road, Milford

This 8-acre Sanctuary, adjacent to the Coastal Center at Milford Point, is managed by the Society in cooperation with the New Haven Bird Club, on behalf of the State of Connecticut. A boardwalk protects the dune and beach habitat facing Long Island Sound. The inland side is adjacent to the 840-acre Charles Wheeler Salt Marsh.

Directions:

From I-95: Take Exit 34, and turn right at the bottom of the ramp. Go 0.5 mile to the third light, and turn left onto Naugatuck Avenue. Go 0.8 mile to the second light, and turn right onto Milford Point Road. Follow Milford Point Road 0.5 mile to the stop sign at Seaview Avenue. Turn right, and take the right fork at the road’s end into the Center’s parking lot.

From the Merritt Parkway: Take the Exit 54 Connector to I-95, and follow the directions above.

From I-91: Take I-91 south to I-95, and follow the directions above.

From I-84: Take Routes 8 or 25 or I-91 to the Merritt Parkway, and follow the directions above.

Bafflin Sanctuary

2013_EdChoiceLogoRoute 169 and Day Road, Pomfret Center

This 702 acre sanctuary, adjacent to the Center at Pomfret, was a working dairy farm.   It can be accessed from Route 169, approximately half a mile north of the intersection with Route 101 and on Day Road. The property is designated an Important Bird Area.  Over 200 species have been observed on the property.  It is managed for grassland and early successional shrubland habitat.  It contains beaver ponds, extensive grasslands, a hemlock ravine, streams, and over 10 miles of walking trails with interpretive signage. Programs for all ages are offered at the Center year round.

Bafflin Sanctuary Map

Directions:

From I-395: Take Exit 93 and go west on Route 101 to the junction with Route 169. Turn right onto Route 169, follow Route 169 north, take first right on to Day Road, follow one mile to stop sign, turn right continuing on Day Road, center one quarter mile on right. Parking for Bafflin Sanctuary at Center.

From I-84: Take Exit 69, Route 74, and go east on Route 74 to Route 44. Turn left onto Route 44. In Pomfret, Route 44 takes a left-hand turn, follow for a quarter of a mile to stop sign, turn right onto 169 south, and take immediate left on to Day Road, follow one mile to stop sign, turn right continuing on Day Road, center one quarter mile on right. Parking for Bafflin Sanctuary at Center.

From I-91: Take I-91 to I-84, and follow the directions above.

Grace Robinson Nature Sanctuary

Lords Highway, Weston

This 37-acre sanctuary contains upland woods with a stream and established trails.

Directions:

From the Merritt Parkway: Take Exit 42, and go north on Route 57 to the intersection with Route 53. Turn right onto Route 53 and go north to the second right, which is Lords Highway. Go 0.75 mile to the terminus, and park in the small parking lot at the trail entrance.

From I-95: Take Exit 15 Route 7 to the Merritt Parkway, and follow the directions above.

From I-91: Travel to Route 15 (Wilbur Cross Highway/Merritt Parkway), and follow the directions above.

From I-84: Take Routes 8 or 25 or I-91 to the Merritt Parkway, and follow the directions above.

H. Smith Richardson Wildlife Preserve and Christmas Tree Farm

Sasco Creek Road, Westport

This Sanctuary consists of three parcels: a 24-acre Christmas Tree farm, a 14-acre field habitat, and a 36-acre evergreen plantation that has remained virtually undisturbed for the last 30 years. An interpretive brochure is available at the entrance.

Directions:

From I-95: Take Exit 19 Southport. Eastbound: Go left at the end of the ramp to the traffic light at Route 1. Turn left onto Route 1 and go to the second light. Turn left. At the fork, stay right and proceed straight onto Green Farms Road. Turn left onto Sasco Creek Road. The Sanctuary is one mile along, on the left. Westbound: Stay straight to the traffic light at Route 1. Turn right onto Route 1 to the third traffic light. Turn left, and follow the directions above.

More information on this sanctuary here.

Elsa Feiler Denburg Woodland Conservation Area

Burr Street, Fairfield

This 10-acre Sanctuary is right across the street from the Center at Fairfield. A trail makes a loop through the property.

Directions:

From I-95: Take Exit 21 Mill Plain Road and go north for approximately 4.5 miles. The Center and Sanctuary are on your left. (After the third stop sign, Mill Plain Road becomes Burr Street.)

From the Merritt Parkway: Take Exit 44. Northbound: Turn right at the end of the ramp onto Congress Street. At the first stop sign, turn right onto Burr Street. The Center and Sanctuary are 0.9 mile along on the left. Southbound: Turn left at the first light, left at the second light, and right at the next light onto Congress Street. Follow the directions above.

From I-84: Take Routes 8 or 25 or I-91 to the Merritt Parkway, and follow the directions above.

Banks South Farm

Merwins Lane, Fairfield

This 60-acre Sanctuary is one of the newest land gifts to the Society. It includes open pastures, and upland forest, wetlands, and a small stream. Trails cover the forested portion.

Directions:

From the Merritt Parkway: Take Exit 44. Northbound: Turn right at the end of the ramp onto Congress Street. After the second stop sign, turn left onto Cross Highway and go to the end. Turn right onto Redding Road and after the bridge, take a quick left onto Cross Highway. Take the second left onto Merwins Land, and proceed for 0.6 mile. A small parking area is on the left. Southbound: Turn left and the first light, and left at the second light. At the next light, turn right onto Congress Street and follow the directions, above.

From I-95: Take Exit 21 Mill Plain Road. Go north to the fourth stop sign. (Mill Plain Road turns into Burr Street.) Turn left onto Congress Street, and follow the directions, above.

More information on this sanctuary here.

John W. Field and John Mahoney Sanctuary

Old Academy Road, Fairfield

This 14-acre Sanctuary is forested and has a small pond circled by a trail.

Directions:

From the Merritt Parkway: Take Exit 44. Northbound: Turn right at the end of the ramp onto Congress Street. At the first stop sign, turn left onto Burr Road. Take the first right onto Old Academy Road. The Sanctuary entrance is at the end of the road. Turn right and park alongside the road. Southbound: Turn left at the first light and left at the second light. At the next light, turn right onto Congress Street, and follow the directions, above.

From I-95: Take Exit 21 Mill Plain Road. Go north past the third stop sign to Old Academy Road. Turn left onto Old Academy Road, and follow the directions, above.

Edward Steichen Memorial Wildlife Preserve

Chestnut Woods Road, Redding

This 54-acre Sanctuary is often referred to as Huckleberry Swamp. The Society and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies conducted an ecological survey in 1976.

For directions and additional information click here.

Richard G. Croft Memorial Preserve

East Street North, Goshen

This 700-acre Sanctuary is one of the least-developed sites owned by the Society. There are upland hardwoods, ponds, and streams throughout the property. Trails are minimal.

Directions:

From I-95: Take Exit 27 Route 8, and head north. Take Exit 44 (Route 4) off Route 8, and go west for approximately 5.2 miles. Turn right onto East Street North. The Sanctuary is 5.2 miles north of the intersection of Route 4 and East Street North. Look for Connecticut Audubon Society signs on the right.

From I-84: Go north on Route 8 and follow the directions, above.

For additional information click here.

Haddam Wildflower Gorge

adjacent to Hurd State Park, Haddam

This 4-acre site contains an upland forest and a small stream.

Directions:

From I-91: Take Exit 22 Route 9 to Route 66 in Middletown. Go east on Route 66 through to town of Portland to Cobalt. Turn right onto Route 151 Continue through Middle Haddam, and follow the signs for Hurd State Park. At the light, turn onto Hurd Park Road, and continue to Clarkhurst Road on your right. Park along the road, and start exploring. An easy trail slopes downward to the Connecticut Rover and continues along a meadow.

Harlo N. Haagenson Preserve

137 Creek Row, East Haddam

This 65-acre upland site overlooks the Connecticut River and includes a small field and a stream. New trails and signage were recently installed.

Directions:

From I-95: Take Exit 69 Route 9 north to Exit 7 East Haddam. At the end of the long ramp, turn left on Route 82, and very shortly turn right to stay on Route 82. Cross the Connecticut River via the bridge on Route 82. When the road forks, go left onto Route 149. In 0.7 mile, turn right onto Landing Hill Road. In 0.8 mile, turn left onto Creek Row and continue 0.2 mile to the Sanctuary.

From I-84 or I-91: Take the Route 9 Exit, and follow the directions, above.

Morgan R. Chaney Sanctuary

Turner Road, Montville

This 233-acre Sanctuary can be easily explored on its well-developed trails. Highlights include upland forest, field, swamp, and wetland habitats.

Directions:

From I-95: Take Exit 82 to Route 85, and go north, past Lake Konomoc. Take the first right onto Turner Road. The Sanctuary is on the left, just past the intersection with Ridge Hill Road.

From I-395: Take Exit 77 Route 85, and follow the directions, above.

From Hartford: Take Route 2 east to Colchester. Take Exit 19 Route 11 and go south to the intersection with Route 82. Go east on Route 82 approximately 3 miles to the intersection with Route 85 (Salem Four Corners). Turn right onto Route 85 and go approximately 4 miles to Turner Road. Turn left. The Sanctuary is on the left, just past the intersection with Ridge Hill Road.

Wilcox Preserve

Stonington

This 0.7-acre rocky outcropping is about 150 yards off shore in the town of Stonington. It is managed to promote nesting of terns. No public access.

Cromwell Meadows

Middletown

This 79-acre sanctuary includes 64 acres of tidal wetlands that have been designated as “of international importance.” The property adjoins the Mattabesset River. Trails and access are limited.

Jane and George Pratt Valley Preserve, Cascades Road, Bridgewater and New Milford

Because this Sanctuary is fragile, entry is only by written permission. This old farmland includes a field, a stream with a dramatic gorge, and forest growth. Parts of the property are still farmed.

Hayes Meadow Tidal Marsh and N. B. Sargent Sanctuary

Fairfield Beach Road, Fairfield

Not open to the general public.

TOP OF PAGE