Since childhood, my love of the outdoors has always been a part of me. And as an adult, I hope to share that passion with my own children.
So, I offered this challenge to my family, to join me in exploring the hidden treasures and more popular gems Connecticut and the surrounding region have to offer. From hiking to biking to kayaking, I hope my window into the outside world inspires you to explore as well.
JOHN LOHMANN CT RIVER PRESERVE
The Connecticut River - New England’s largest – is a master of diversity and change. Its nuances and intricacies are highlighted many times over as the river bends and moves on its endless journey to the sound. So, it becomes a real treat to have such places protected for all to enjoy.
That’s the case in Old Lyme where the John Lohmann Connecticut River Preserve cuts a 42-acre tract directly on Lord Cove. But, to get there, hikers will have to make their way through a winding wooded trail and open fields before reaching the water.
It all begins at the trailhead located on Coult Lane. A small sign directs visitors to the green-marked trail which lies in between neighborhood homes. Almost immediately, the path climbs uphill weaving through the woods in a serpentine fashion.
My trek through the grove was a short one. And before long, I stumbled upon a magnificent stone wall and a glorious view of terraced fields before me.
There’s a park-like feel to the fields below. And that is intentional. John Lohmann cut down the forest here to create a look that mimicked the landscaped preserves he witnessed in England when he served during World War II.
I followed a white-marked trail as it took me on a meandering path that led me closer and closer to the river. Passing old storage buildings on the way, I arrived at a rocky outcrop known as Whaleback Point. A sprawling view greeted me as I scrabbled atop the boulders.
The beauty of Lord Cove really resonates in the brilliant sunlight – as does the Connecticut River itself. Off in the distance, on this still morning, I could hear the faint rush of traffic crossing the Baldwin Bridge - and closer still, the random fluttering of birds weaving in and out of shoreline marshes.
Take a moment and appreciate what’s before you. The time is well worth taking, even more so now, knowing it’s a small window to a shoreline treasure that isn’t always easy to come by.
Directions: Take I-95 N/US-1 TOWARD New London/Providence. Take exit 70 for US-1/CT-156 toward Old Lyme. Take left onto CT-156 W/US-1 N. Turn left onto Coult Lane. Trail is located at 33 Coult Lane. Parking is on the road. Please do not block neighboring driveways.
Distance: 1.5 miles (round trip)