Sheepskin Hollow Preserve
It’s not always easy finding the right hike on any given morning. But this day it was especially tough. Our 14-year-old dog, Sampson, recently passed away, and, we were desperate to get out of the house.
But, finding a trail that was fit for our aging dog, Murphy, and appealing enough for my youngest daughter to tackle, is always a challenge.
Then, I found this. A 119-acre escape in the heart of East Haddam. Sheepskin Hollow Preserve with its wooded appeal and views of an idyllic New England pond had all the hallmarks of a good adventure.
There are three separate entry points to the property and we took the one with a small dirt parking lot closest to the site of the pond. The narrow, but well-delineated trail is shadowed by huge swaths of ferns that pepper the edge of the path.
The East Haddam Land Trust does a good job keeping the trail clear and free of debris. The color-coded placards on the trees along the path are also easy to spot and made this hike virtually worry-free.
It’s always a good indication how well the trek is going with how excited my 7-year gets about being on one.
Clicking along on the blue trail, we quickly found our way to a sturdy, wooden bridge that crosses Roaring Brook. And, Lilah rushed by me to get a front-row seat of the small waterfalls and bubbling water making it downstream.
We had fun crossing over muddy streams and spotting small frogs jumping for cover before we turned on the red trail and we saw the big pond through the thick of the trees.
We could hear some passing birds over the still water as we neared the edge. For a better view, we had to follow the white trail uphill. And from here, we could see two large beaver dams at the south end of the pond that also delighted my daughter.
But, with the heat of the day rising and a tired child and dog in tow, it was as good a time as any to make our way back to the car.
Sure, our mile-hike was a short one and not quite the work-out some hope for. But it made for a much-needed reprieve from the heavy weight of our loss at home.
Trail Directions: Take Rt-9 S to Exit 7 for CT-82 toward E Haddam/Moodus. Continue on CT-82. Turn left onto CT-154 N/CT-82 E. Turn right onto CT-82 E. Slight right to stay on CT-82 E. Turn right to stay on CT-82 E. Turn left onto State Hwy 434. Slight right onto Sheepskin Hollow Rd. Parking is on the left past a pet kennel.
Trail Distance: 1 mile
Trail Difficulty: Easy