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Ayer's Gap

The entrance to Ayer's Gap is located off Route 207 in Franklin.
The entrance to Ayer's Gap is located off Route 207 in Franklin. Judy Benson/The Day

Ayer's Gap

Town: Franklin

Directions: Take I-395 north to Route 2 west. Take Exit 25 to Route 32 north; at traffic light turn onto Route 207 towards Baltic. Travel about 1.5 miles to entrance, on left.

Where to Park: Parking is on the north side of Route 207, 1.5 miles east of the junction with Route 32.

Description: Ayer's Gap is an 80-acre, rugged parcel with rock outcrops and waterfalls. It takes about 25 minutes at a moderate speed to reach the first waterfall; about 50 minutes to one hour to reach the second. The white-blazed trail, which follows the spine of a ridge, starts just to the right of the preserve sign on Route 207.

Regulations: Open sunrise to sunset; no dogs allowed.

Amenities: None.

Natural Features: Bailey's Ravine, an interior gorge in the preserve, is filled with exposed rock outcrops, flowing brooks and waterfalls, hemlocks and hardwoods. Several ponds, wetlands and vernal pools provide habitat for amphibians and wildlife.

Fees: Free.

Things to Note: Trail starts out steep and rugged, but hiking here is mostly of moderate difficulty.

Owned by: The Nature Conservancy

More information: http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/connecticut/placesweprotect/ayers-gap-preserve.xml

Bailey's Ravine
Bailey's Ravine Judy Benson/The Day
Judy Benson/The Day
The trail ends at Ayer Road.
The trail ends at Ayer Road. Judy Benson/The Day
A trail marked by white blazes starts just to the right of the sign.
A trail marked by white blazes starts just to the right of the sign. Judy Benson/The Day
Hemlocks line sections of the trail.
Hemlocks line sections of the trail. Judy Benson/The Day
Hemlocks line sections of the trail.
Hemlocks line sections of the trail. Judy Benson/The Day
Hemlocks line sections of the trail.
Hemlocks line sections of the trail. Judy Benson/The Day
The trail leads to large outcrops and a waterfall at Bailey's Brook, called Bailey's Ravine.
The trail leads to large outcrops and a waterfall at Bailey's Brook, called Bailey's Ravine. Judy Benson/The Day

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