Pleasant Valley Preserve/Jewett Preserve
Directions: From I-95, take Exit 70 straight off ramp, following signs to Rt. 156. Pass shopping centers; at second light turn right onto 156 West towards Hamburg; about 6.6 miles in, turn left onto MacIntosh Road. Entrance to Pleasant Valley Preserve about 300 yards on the right. Jewett Preserve access is also through this entrance.
Where to Park: There are two small, unmarked parking areas that can accommodate about five cars total. One is just before you reach the entrance gate to the trails; the other is in front of the entrance gate.
Description: Green loop trail is the longest, about 2.5 to 2.75 miles. Lower part of trail is flat and wide. After about a mile, it becomes narrow, hillier and packed with dense vegetation. Red Trail is an easy, short path to the Eightmile River.
Editor's note: On our last visit, the Green Loop trail at Pleasant Valley had been remarked with yellow blazes.
Regulations: Northern section of green trail closed during November and December. No bicycles, motorized vehicles or horses. Dogs must be on leash.
Natural Features: Variety of habitats, from grasslands to ridges to wetlands, vernal pools and river valley. Overlook at the halfway mark along the green trail. Red Trail leads to a picturesque spot along the Eightmile River.
Good to know: Entrance gate is always closed, even when trails are open. Hikers enter through narrow opening on the side. Entrance also leads to trails on the Jewett Preserve, which connect to Pleasant Valley trails.
Owned by: The Nature Conservancy. Managed by Lyme Land Conservation Trust.