Hike Stonington 2024

Upload file: 

HIKE Stonington

Stonington has a diverse array of hiking trails available and open to the general public on a year-round basis.  Trails that explore some spectacular coastal inlets, to deep-forested views (and everything in between!).  Choices that range from a rugged hike with elevations, to a nice leisurely stroll with paved walkways.  Connecticut’s Barn Island; Avalonia’s Knox Preserve and the Denison Pequotsepos  Nature Center’s Meadow Loop are just a few among the dozen (plus) trails listed within the program. Contact us directly by at:  hikestonington@stonington-ct.gov to receive a full listing.  Start your adventures today! 

Watch for details on a number of ‘guided hikes’ that we have planned throughout the spring and summer months. 

HIKE Stonington! | Facebook 

1. Pequotsepos Brook Preserve
Accessed from Maritime Drive entrance by West Marine store. Part of a trail system and larger greenway of additional lands held by the Denison Society and the Pequotsepos Nature Center. Upland hardwood forest, small fields with succession cedars, small wetland pockets, vernal pools; stone walls and stone bridges crossing brook. 

2. Hoffman Preserve*
Route 201, approximately 2 miles north of CT Rte 184 just before North Stonington line. Roadside parking at signed trailhead. Mixed evergreen and hardwood forest. Some wetlands. Extensive trail network. The 198-acre Hoffman Preserve, tucked in the northwest corner of Stonington, has blue, red & yellow blazed trails giving several options.

3. Donahue Park & Wilcox Park
Village of Pawcatuck & Downtown Westerly.  Start by enjoying the gazebo overlooking the river in Donahue Park and work your way around downtown Westerly.  Take a loop through beautiful Wilcox Park and end with lunch or dinner at any one of the fine restaurants in the area.  Wilcox Park features a beautiful landscape defined by an open meadow area with surrounding trees, a fish pond, monuments and perennial gardens.

4. Dodge Paddock and Beal Preserve*
In Stonington Borough, the Dodge Paddock and Beal Preserve have a circular path around its historic waterfront preserve located at the end of Wall Street at Main Street.  Include a hike from “The Point” to the Town Docks, through the streets of the Borough to get a firsthand look at “the most beautiful seaside village in New England.”

5. Paffard Woods*
West side of North Main Street. Gravel parking area 0.5 mile north of Route 1. Diverse terrain ranging from heavily wooded glacial valley in north to coastal marsh on salt pond at southern extremity. Many glacial erratics, large trees, wetlands crossed by bridges, and hayfield. Approximately 1 mile of posted trails. A blue-blazed trail affords mostly easy hiking through 62-acres of woodlands and wetlands interspersed with stone walls.

6. Woodlot Sanctuary*
Pellegrino Road. This land was destined to be house lots but has been preserved for all to enjoy.  The two woodland loops are fairly level and easy walking with unmarked side trails leading to views of the wetlands.  Off street parking is available.

7. White Cedar Swamp / Deans Mill Preserve*
North side of Jerry Browne Road near Mistuxet Ave.  Across from Perkins Wildlife Corridor. Western boundary of Aquarion Water Company property and reservoir. Trail continues into  adjoining Deans Mill Farm Preserve. Contains endangered White Cedar Swamp habitat and loop trail that follows along high ledges above reservoir and continues into upland woods.

8. Fennerswood Preserve*
North Main Street just south of the junction with Pequot Trail. Also access from end of Heritage Drive cul-de-sac. Easy loop through woodlands, along fields and rocky ledges to Stony Brook. Possibly combine this hike with Paffard Woods (just down the road on North Main Street) for a great afternoon outside. 

9. Perry Preserve*
N. Anguilla Road, half mile south of Rt 184.  Forest upland and old farm foundations.  Moderate terrain. Northern boundary is Stonington-North Stonington town line. Several interconnected loop trails totaling approximately 1.8 miles. Former farmland and homestead with old walls, stone cairns, foundations and an old cemetery. Mostly upland  deciduous woods with evergreen grove.

10. Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
Pequotsepos Road.  Be sure to notify front desk staff at the Nature Center that you are a HIKE STONINGTON participant to gain free access to their trails

Forest Loop:  Flat trail through mixed oak/ hickory woodland, field, and rocky ledges, and past streams, marsh and ponds.  Meadow Loop: Flat trail through early successional forest of Red Cedars, highbush Blueberry, & Red Maple. Narrow boardwalks traverse seasonally wet areas. Ledge Trail: Dramatic rock ledges overlooking wooded wetlands characterize this hilly trail. Used as a connector trail to the Avalonia Trail. Denison Farm Trail: Wind through open fields and woods of White Pine, birch and oak.  Also crosses Pequotsepos Brook.  Stone Bridges Trail:  This long trail runs from Mistuxet Avenue to Maritime Drive, connecting with the Denison Farm Trail. Crosses old stone bridges and an abandoned quarry pond and traverses Avalonia, Denison, and Mystic Marine Life Aquarium properties.

11. Barn Island Wildlife Management Area
Connecticut State Park.  Palmer Neck Road, Pawcatuck.  Known for it’s birding and well maintained hiking & walking trails, Barn Island contains more than 1,000 acres of salt and freshwater marshes, hardwood forests, old fields traversed by stone walls and grasslands. Mostly flat, wide three-mile main loop trail and side trails are suitable for hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing.

12. Knox Preserve*
Wilcox Road. Preserve entrance is next to Miner Cemetery, near the intersection of Route 1, Wilcox Road and Cove Road.  This small but significant area attracts dozens of migratory bird species in spring and fall, as well as birds that nest in the spring and summer. A variety of habitats attract songbirds, ground-nesting birds, hawks and shorebirds.

13. Sandy Point Island*
Beautiful beach hike—but you’ll need a boat to get to it!  Sandy Point Island is a beautiful 35 acre barrier island in Little Narragansett Bay, about 1.5 miles in length. Access is by water only and it is surrounded by shifting sand bars. It is a major spawning ground for Horseshoe Crabs and hosts nesting American Oystercatchers, Piping Plovers and Least Terns - all protected species. Areas are roped off and closed to the public during nesting season. It is a significant migratory bird habitat as well. No dogs are allowed on the island.

14. Spellman Recreational Park
Spellman Drive (behind the High School).  The park includes several hiking and walking trails.  Our recreation complex consists of four athletic playing fields, a large playground area, outdoor exercise equipment area, two outdoor basketball courts, six tennis courts and two pavilions. Add in Stonington High School’s Palmer Field (turf) and their baseball field, and we have one of the finest recreational facilities in the area.  Hike the trails and hit the playground—time it right, you can catch a ball game! 

15. Copps Brook Preserve
Al Harvey Rd. West side of road, north of Pequot Trail. Wide variety of habitats; including rocky outcrops & ledges, upland woods, forests, and wetlands. Developed trails, abuts  US Fish & Wildlife Preserve.  This parcel forms part of the greater contiguous protected area of 235 acres and trails network, which includes the Avalonia owned Copps Brook Preserve, US Fish & Wildlife owned Preserve (103 acres) and the Merrill-Andrews Conservation and Trails Easement (20 acres)