Places We Protect

Lucius Pond Ordway/Devil’s Den Preserve


A wooden foot bridge over a small creek leads to a trail through leafy green woods.
Devil's Den Preserve An oasis for wildlife. © Francine Monahan

TNC’s largest preserve in Connecticut and the largest tract of protected land in densely developed Fairfield County.

The best ways to stay apprised of our status are to monitor this page at or to call our visitor information line at 203-226-4991 and select “4.” These resources are kept up-to-date with all Devil’s Den closures and other visitor information and are available 24/7.



Staying Safe Outdoors This Winter

Winter doesn’t have to be a time when you put away the hiking boots. Colder temperatures, earlier sunsets and snowfall all offer a completely different way to connect with nature than warm-weather days.

That also means that other precautions are important for safety, for anyone who’s brand new to outdoor recreation or for those who can’t wait for the coldest months of the year.

Whether you visit one of the 50+ preserves protected by The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut—like Devil's Den—or another area of trails and whether you’re hiking, bird-watching, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or enjoying a different outdoor activity, here are some things to consider in your plans.

  • Keep in mind how early the sun will set. Be sure to get an early start so you have enough daylight.
  • Pack extra socks. You’ll need a dry pair if your feet get wet. It’s a good way to maintain your body temperature and be comfortable as you safely continue your hike.
  • Tell others where you’re headed, especially if you plan to hike alone. “Have check-in points when they can expect to hear from you. With colder temperatures, the stakes can be higher than a hike in mild weather, so it’s best to share your plans with those who aren’t coming along that day and can get you help if you need it,” says Sophie Duncan, equitable stewardship manager for TNC in CT.
  • Stay hydrated. It’s a focus for summertime activities but is essential in the winter, too. Your body will have an easier time regulating your temperature if it's well hydrated.
  • Note that at Devil's Den, cross-country skiing is allowed only on red-blazed trails, and it requires 8-10 inches of snow.
  • When showshoeing or partaking in any other activities, always stay on trails

Dave Gumbart, Connecticut River preserves manager for the CT chapter, recently discussed winter hiking safety in a segment with NBC CT.

Cold months in Connecticut bring a great deal of beauty, as well as different species you may not usually see. A bit of planning will make your time in nature both memorable and safe.

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