Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
WOPA060426_D014 Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) © © Rick McEwan

Places We Protect

Iron Mountain Preserve

Connecticut

See if you can spot some of the 27 bird species sighted at Iron Mountain.

Why You Should Visit

This preserve offers a 1.5-mile hike on a loop trail through varied terrain. After much of the area’s upland was reforested following agricultural use, the charcoal industry cleared nearly all the drier forest in the mid- to late-1800’s. Many of the remnant charcoal pits, where wood was slowly burned in mounds until it became charcoal, are still visible today. The charcoal-making process, which provided fuel for the iron industry, was eventually abandoned, and the forest returned. The upland oak woods are today estimated to be between 60 and 100 years old.

Why TNC Selected This Site

Mrs. Walter E. Irving donated 257 acres in 1974, with subsequent gifts totaling 26 acres from Brigitta Lieberson and Joseph Gitterman.

What TNC Has Done/Is Doing

In 1991, The Nature Conservancy received a gift of 20.3 acres of undisturbed upland forest at Iron Mountain. After this donation from Vilma Kurzer of Kent, the Iron Mountain Preserve now stands at more than 303 acres and links land protected by TNC and the Kent Land Trust.

 

What to See: Plants

The preserve’s well-drained uplands are dominated by large sugar maple, ash, red oak and black birch trees. The understory is largely filled with young hardwoods, maple-leaved viburnum and witch hazel. The hike uphill goes through a stand of striped maple, named for its green-and-white-striped trunks. This species has enormous leaves, sometimes eight inches across, that some say resemble the webbed foot of a goose.  In summer, the greenish light that filters through these leaves is especially pretty.  Violets and Canada mayflowers cover the trail in early spring, and shadbushes blossom in the increased light at the trail edge.

What to See: Animals

Some 27 bird species have been sighted at Iron Mountain.

Please enjoy your visit to this preserve. The Nature Conservancy welcomes passive recreation, including hiking, birding, canoeing, nature study and cross-country skiing.

To ensure those who visit after you are able to enjoy the same experience you have, please remember to stay on designated trails, pack out everything you brought in, and contact our office at: 203 568 6270 or ct@tnc.org if you notice any problems.

To maintain the ecological integrity of the preserve, the following activities are not allowed: collection of plant or animal specimens, camping, fires, fishing, hunting, bicycling, and use of motorized vehicles. Pets are not allowed on TNC preserves.