Poquetanuck Cove Preserve

Why You Should Visit
The gentle tranquility 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.


234 acres

Why the Conservancy 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 the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
The Connecticut chapter monitors this site on a regular basis.

Dawn to dusk

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 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.


From I-95 north:

  • Take I-395 to exit 79A to Route 2A east. 
  • After the bridge crossing the Thames River, stay on Route 2A to the center of Poquetanuck. 
  • Turn right onto Cider Mill Road, which turns into Avery Hill Road. The preserve's entrance is 0.9 miles ahead on the right.

Canoe access:

  • Take Route 2A onto Cider Mill Road (Avery Hill), and take the second right onto Arrowhead Drive.
  • Go to the end and turn right.  (Note: Low tides restrict water access, so be sure to plan your trip accordingly.)



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