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
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.
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.
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.