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Trace the banks of the serene Quinebaug River looking for frogs and spotted salamanders before ascending a wooded ridge.
What makes Quinebaug Woods a special place?
When you trek the short loop trail here, you’ll go north along the Quinebaug River before turning west and heading up and over a steep hillside with rocky outcrops. Oak, hickory, white ash, and white pine make up the open canopy along the top of this “hogback” ridge, while hemlocks dominate below the ridge, forming dense stands. On the exposed ridge you’ll find a stone chimney and foundation steps – all that remain from a cabin built in 1932. From this and other vantage points, you can take in views of Blake Hill to the east and Hamilton Reservoir to the south.
Near the ridgetop, a large, shaded vernal pool supports wood and pickerel frogs, American toads, and spotted salamanders. Along the banks of the Quinebaug River, beavers have taken down trees and constructed a lodge. Kingfishers and great blue herons hunt along the river’s banks and shallows, sunfish and bass can be seen from the shore, and cardinal flowers bloom in late summer along the river’s edge.
Located next to the 575-acre Army Corps of Engineers Holland Pond Flood Control and Recreation Area and near the 518-acre Leadmine Wildlife Management Area, Quinebaug Woods is a valuable addition to the broader ecological landscape.
1.1 mile loop trail. Moderate walking.
When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1 hour, 2 hours if also visiting Tantiusques.