Connecticut Audbon Society
Sanctuaries

Sanctuaries

A male Red-winged Blackbird, photographed by Patrick Comins.

Other Sanctuaries

Although most of our sanctuaries are open year-round, the sanctuaries on this page are either open and difficult to reach (for example, the Haagenson preserve) or too small, too inaccessible, or too sensitive to be open to the public.

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. Habitat work started in late 2019 and early 2020.

Entrance to the preserve is via a long, narrow driveway that lacks a turnaround area. You are welcome to visit but you may well have to back all the way out.

Edward Steichen Memorial Wildlife Preserve

Chestnut Woods Road, Redding

This 54-acre sanctuary is often referred to as Huckleberry Swamp. It was the location of a prolonged and far-reaching ecological study by Connecticut Audubon Society and the Yale school of Forestry and Environmental Studies in the late 1970s.

The sensitive wetlands here limit access. The best views of the sanctuary are to be had from Chestnut Woods Road.

In summer, Eastern Phoebe, Wood Thrush, Ovenbird, Red-eyed Vireo, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Tufted Titmouse, Willow Flycatcher, Veery, Broad-winged Hawk, Warbling Vireo, Great Crested Flycatcher, and a variety of woodpeckers breed in the wooded areas around the swamp.

Tree Swallows and Wood Ducks nest here. In spring and fall migration. Look for warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and more. Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, and Rusty Blackbirds would all be attracted to the swamp and its edge habitat in any season.

The wetlands are a haven for amphibians and reptiles. Bullfrogs, green frogs, spring peepers, and American toads are abundant here and many other species may inhabit the swamp and nearby vernal pool habitats. You can see eastern painted turtles in many areas of the swamp as well. They  and the impressive common snapping turtle seasonally migrate in and out of the swamp to hibernate and lay eggs in nearby uplands.

Haddam Wildflower Gorge

Temporarily closed because of storm damage.

Adjacent to Hurd State Park, Haddam. This four-acre site contains an upland forest and a small stream.

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 “of international importance.” The property adjoins the Mattabesset River. Trails and access are limited.

Hayes Meadow Tidal Marsh and N. B. Sargent Sanctuary

Fairfield Beach Road, Fairfield

Not open to the general public.

 

 

 

Our sanctuaries are open daily year-round, dawn to dusk. 

The following are not permitted:
  • Dumping or littering
  • Fishing, hunting, trapping or collecting
  • Camping or fires
  • Biking or other vehicles
  • Dogs
  • Drones
  • Alcohol
  • Commercial uses, vending, and events without a permit
Dial 911 in emergencies.
For non-emergencies, call us at 844-waxwing (844-929-9464)
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