Water rushes along a creek at Poquetanuck Cove Preserve.
Poquetanuck Cove Water rushes along a creek at Poquetanuck Cove Preserve. © Jeff Zanelli/TNC

Places We Protect

Poquetanuck Cove Preserve


Go back in time to when Native Americans camped along the shores and bald eagles soared overhead.

Why You Should Visit

The gentle tranquility of Poquetanuck Cove Preserve allows visitors to go back in time to the days when Native Americans camped along these shores to harvest oysters as bald eagles soared overhead. Today, the cry of the osprey and the large expanses of brackish marshes reflect the natural values that still dominate the preserve.

Why TNC Selected This Site   

In 1953, Desire Parker purchased this piece of land—with its narrow cliff along the watercourse—in the hopes that native people had camped and gathered oysters at the spot. Subsequent archaeological research confirmed her hunch. In 1988, she followed through on her lifelong plan to permanently protect her land along Poquetanuck Cove by donating it to The Nature Conservancy.

What TNC Has Done/Is Doing

The Connecticut chapter monitors this site on a regular basis.


There is a 1.5-mile loop trail that passes through a variety of habitats.

What to See: Plants

Walking along the trail, visitors first see the secondary growth of oak-beech forests that was once farmland. In the area are a number of large "wolf" trees, which are relics from the agricultural era when trees along the edges of fields could spread their branches. As the trail continues, it enters a cool, moist hemlock ravine containing a stream flowing across moss-covered rocks. The trail emerges from the shadows to stunning views of the cove and Duck Island. It then crosses drought-influenced pitch pine areas before returning to mixed hardwood forests of oaks and beech.

What to See: Animals

Look for osprey and waterfowl in the brackish marsh.

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 Nature Conservancy preserves.