Cedars in a grassy field in Pleasant Valley Preserve
Cedars Cedars in a grassy field in Pleasant Valley Preserve © Jerry and Marcy Monkman/EcoPhotography.com

Places We Protect

Pleasant Valley Preserve

Connecticut

Visit to watch for woodland birds and keep an eye out for fish and invertebrates.

Why You Should Visit

This preserve, managed jointly by the Lyme Land Conservation Trust and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), provides trails through open fields and woodlands, and frontage on the Eightmile River. The preserve takes the name of the area made famous by Lyme impressionist painters Eugene Higgins, Robert Vonnoh and Oscar Fehrer-the father of the Catherine and Elizabeth Fehrer, who donated the land to TNC.

Why TNC Selected This Site

The protection of this land provides numerous environmental benefits, including protection of water quality of the Eightmile River, which in turn affects the habitat of several rare species. The Eightmile River, which runs through the property, feeds into the Connecticut River by way of Hamburg Cove. Protecting the this property from development protects a part of the Connecticut River's watershed, as well as a considerable segment of one of its tributaries. Moreover, some species of fish swim up the Eightmile River to spawn.

The late Catherine and Elizabeth Fehrer, who died last February, first created the preserve in December 1991 with a donation of a 15 percent interest in the property to the chapter.

What TNC Has Done/Is Doing

The Lyme Land Conservation Trust maintains this property in partnership with TNC. Both the land trust and TNC have made protecting the watershed of the Eightmile River one of their top priorities.

What to See: Plants

The trail passes through old fields now full of 20- to 30-foot cedars and dry oak woods. The preserve includes a ridgetop covered with large conifers and old white oaks, as well as rolling wooded hills, covered mostly with oak, hickory, beech and hemlock. The northwestern section of the property consists of a maple ash seepage forest. Among the important species found on the preserve is Virginia snakeroot, a plant generally found along rich slopes that is a threatened species in Connecticut.

What to See: Animals

In addition to watching for woodland birds, be sure to visit the banks of the Eightmile River, keeping an eye out for fish and invertebrates.

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.