Turtle Creek Preserve located in Old Saybrook and Essex, CT
Connecticut: Turtle Creek Preserve located in Old Saybrook and Essex, CT © David Gumbart

Places We Protect

Turtle Creek Preserve

Connecticut

Basking turtles can be seen in Deitsch’s Pond in the southeast corner of the preserve.

**Turtle Creek Preserve to be closed Wednesday October 17th**

**The Nature Conservancy to Allow Dogs On-leash for One-year Trial at Turtle Creek Preserve **

Why You Should Visit
This preserve has about a mile of trail through mountain laurel thickets and beech groves, and along a cove on the Connecticut River. Straddling the Essex/Old Saybrook town line, the preserve occupies the mouth of Turtle Creek, a tidal estuary whose channel supports wild rice and eel grass.

Location
Essex

Size
93 acres

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
The Turtle Creek Preserve was established with a gift of 89 acres made in partial interests from 1971 to 1978 by the late Dorothy S. Bowles, the wife of the former Connecticut Governor Chester Bowles Sr. Turtle Creek Preserve includes brackish tidal marshes and are part of the globally recognized wetlands complex of Tidelands of the Connecticut River.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
A local volunteer preserve monitor maintains the trails.

Hours
Dawn to dusk

Conditions
There is a well-maintained loop trail through hemlock, hickory, oak, and cedar stands, with a great view of South Cove and the Essex waterfront.

What to See: Plants
There are mountain laurel thickets and beech groves, as well as wild rice and eel grass at the mouth of Turtle Creek.

What to See: Animals
Basking turtles can be seen in Deitsch’s Pond in the southeast corner of the preserve.  From the beach on South Cove, look for ducks and wading birds.

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. Dogs are allowed, but must remain on a leash.