Burnham Brook Preserve
Town: East Haddam
Directions: Take Interstate 95 to Exit 70. Stay straight off exit ramp (if coming from north) to get on Halls Road. Take a right onto Route 156N. Take a right onto Route 82, stay on road for 2.5 miles, then turn left onto Woodbridge Road. Drive 1 mile, then take a left onto Dolbia Hill Road. Entrance will be on your right, about half a mile up the road.
Where to Park: There is no formal parking at the entrance, but the shoulder of the road can accommodate one or possibly two cars.
Description: Birds, brooks, bright orange mushrooms. You'll find them all at the 1,122-acre Burnham Brook Preserve, just a stone's throw away from Devil's Hopyard. The blue trail is well marked, narrow and at times overgrown with fern. Wear study shoes to ensure solid footing as you cross Burnham and Strong brooks.
Regulations: Open year-round. Trails close at dusk. No dogs, camping, hunting, trapping, fishing, fires or motor vehicles allowed.
Natural Features: The preserve is in the Eightmile River watershed, making it an important conservation site for The Nature Conservancy. The watershed at the preserve is "a classic Atlantic salmon habitat in nearly pristine condition," according to the group. The site itself is home to hundreds of bird species; at least 180 different species have been spotted there, the group says.
Things to note: The wooden gate at the entrance is closed at all times; you'll have to squeeze your way in through the side.
Owned by: The Nature Conservancy
More information: http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/connecticut/preserves/art18396.html