Connecticut

Iron Mountain Preserve

See if you can spot some of the 27 bird species sighted at Iron Mountain.


Why You Should Visit
This preserve offers a 1.5-mile hike on a loop trail through varied terrain. After much of the area’s upland was reforested following agricultural use, the charcoal industry cleared nearly all the drier forest in the mid- to late-1800’s. Many of the remnant charcoal pits, where wood was slowly burned in mounds until it became charcoal, are still visible today. The charcoal-making process, which provided fuel for the iron industry, was eventually abandoned, and the forest returned. The upland oak woods are today estimated to be between 60 and 100 years old.

Location
Kent

Size
300 acres

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
Mrs. Walter E. Irving donated 257 acres in 1974, with subsequent gifts totaling 26 acres from Brigitta Lieberson and Joseph Gitterman.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
In 1991, The Nature Conservancy received a gift of 20.3 acres of undisturbed upland forest at Iron Mountain. After this donation from Vilma Kurzer of Kent, the Iron Mountain Preserve now stands at more than 303 acres and links land protected by the Conservancy and the Kent Land Trust.

 

Hours
Dawn to dusk

Conditions
There is a 1.5-mile trail through an old apple orchard, across a charcoal pit and over the summit of Ore Hill.

What to See: Plants
The preserve’s well-drained uplands are dominated by large sugar maple, ash, red oak and black birch trees. The understory is largely filled with young hardwoods, maple-leaved viburnum and witch hazel. The hike uphill goes through a stand of striped maple, named for its green-and-white-striped trunks. This species has enormous leaves, sometimes eight inches across, that some say resemble the webbed foot of a goose.  In summer, the greenish light that filters through these leaves is especially pretty.  Violets and Canada mayflowers cover the trail in early spring, and shadbushes blossom in the increased light at the trail edge.

What to See: Animals
Some 27 bird species have been sighted at Iron Mountain.

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.

Directions

From south and east:

  • Take Interstate 84 to exit 7 for Routes 7 north and 202 east. 
  • 11.8 miles later, the two routes divide in New Milford; stay on 7 north toward Kent. 
  • Take Route 7 north to the junction of Routes 7 and 341 in Kent 
  • Drive 13.5 miles, then take Route 341 east for 3 miles; turn right on South Road and proceed as below.

From the north:

  • Take Route 7 to Cornwall Bridge; continue south on 7 one mile to Route 45. 
  • Turn left on Route 45 and drive 4.7 miles to Route 341; turn right (west). 
  • Drive 5 miles to South Road; turn left.

From South Road:

  • Take South Road 0.6 mile and turn east (left) to Treasure Hill Road for 0.5 mile. 
  • The parking lot and entrance sign are on the west (right) side of the road.
Discussion

Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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