In winter, beavers live on food they’ve cached near their lodges.
Beaver: Signs of beaver activity can be seen along the banks of the Little River at Rock Spring Preserve. © Ross Geredien

Places We Protect

Rock Spring Preserve


Experience a forest of oak, hickory, red and sugar maple, red cedar, little bluestem and clubmosses.

Why You Should Visit

This preserve includes a three-mile trail loop, from which—on a still day—a hiker can hear the Little River from the valley below. Indian Spring, which gives the preserve its name, is hidden by a stone structure, but a spring bubbles in the sand just downstream.

Why TNC Selected This Site

David and Vanda Shoemaker donated land for this preserve, which was later augmented by a purchase from a neighbor.

What TNC Has Done/Is Doing

The chapter monitors this site on a regular basis.


The three-mile loop trail has options for shorter hikes leading through mature oak forest, open fields, and along the clear-flowing Little River. Trails lead past glacial kettle ponds to an impressive overlook of the Little River Valley.

What to See: Plants

A variety of oak, hickory, red and sugar maple, red cedar, poplar, gray birch, little bluestem and clubmosses, as well as numerous other species, can be seen here.

What to See: Animals

Look for hawks overhead and beaver activity along the banks of Little River.

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 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.