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Town: Old Lyme
Directions: From I-95, take Exit 70 to Boston Post Road (Route 1). If coming from Old Lyme, turn right onto Lord's Meadow Lane. Drive past a sign for the Lord's Woods subdivision; you'll see a parking area on your right shortly before you hit a cul-de-sac.
Where to Park: Small parking area can hold two cars.
Description: There are at least two loop trails – an orange and a blue – on the property. At 185 acres, it's not the largest of the hiking trails in Old Lyme, but tucked away behind a yet-undeveloped subdivision off Route 1, being at the Lay property can make you feel like you're miles away from civilization. You can barely hear highway traffic here; mostly, you'll hear birds, and at dusk, owls.
But for novice hikers, the isolated nature of the Lay property can pose a challenge. With no map to go by, hikers should pay extra close attention to where they're going, lest they get stuck looping the same trail mile after mile. Disclaimer: This hiker, who admittedly has no sense of direction, got lost in the Lay property and needed help finding her way out.
Regulations: No littering; no ATVs; dogs must be under your control at all times; stay on the trails and do not trespass on adjacent land; do not camp, start fires, mark trees or collect plants or mineral.
Natural Features: Heavily wooded marsh and streams.
Things to Note: There is no map for the property, so pay close attention to where you're headed.
Owned by: The Nature Conservancy
More information: www.old-lymeconservtrust.org/prop_lay.htm