Avery Preserve

Posted By on August 6, 2016

Avery Preserve

2.2 miles; Ledyard, CT

This hike was a guided hike sponsored by the Avalonia Land Conservancy. Which, by the way, was named after the prehistoric microcontinent of Avalon, parts of which can be found in Great Britain, the Maritime provinces of Canada, northern Maine, all of Rhode Island, and parts of coastal Connecticut. That’s all the prehistoric geology you’re getting from me today, but feel free to google it.

The Avery Preserve is a small tract of land in Ledyard, Connecticut, and it is on both the east and west sides of Avery Hill Road. Our hike today explored the west tract.

Sheep Wash Pen

Sheep Wash Pen

The interesting stone construction, above, was described to us as a sheep wash pen. This is where farmers would wash down the sheep before sheering the wool. It was on the margins of a creek which was very low due to our local drought conditions, so it was kind of hard to imagine how it worked. But I guess there are historical records which confirm its use.

False Solomon's Seal Berries

False Solomon’s Seal Berries

The Avery Preserve is a very nice, and very diverse property, with lots of ferns and other interesting wild plants. We saw New York ferns, Christmas ferns, Hay-Scented ferns and, in the damper areas, Royal fern. We also saw Tulip trees, False Solomon’s Seal and Downy Rattlesnake Plantain, which, contrary to its name, is neither a snake nor a plantain, but a wild orchid. The berries of the False Solomon’s Seal pictured above, are not ripe. They turn bright red when they ripen, and I am told they are edible. Your mileage may vary.

We were led on our walk today by the lovely Amanda of the Avalonia Conservancy and my friend Bruce Fellman, and I can’t tell you often enough to go check out Bruce’s excellent blog. Go check out his blog at brucefellman.zenfolio.com/blog.

You can find out more about this property and download a trail map at the Avalonia Land Conservancy’s website.


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