The 6-acre Ayers Preserve is accessed from Devil's Hopyard Road via a narrow finger of the property 0.25 miles south of Dolbia Hill Road, and 0.75 miles north of Route 82. Look for the brown preserve sign at the entrance. Parking is limited and on a slope. Cars may be best parked along the edge of Three Bridges Road, then walk the short distance to the narrow preserve entrance. (Directly across from the Ayers Preserve The Nature Conservancy (TNC) holds an easement that abuts the TNC's Burnham Brook Preserve).
About 300 feet of this preserve borders the Eightmile River and its floodplain. Due to scarring of the lands by floods, ground cover near the river is sparse. The site was once pasture and meadow and had been planted as a Christmas tree farm. Now the spruce trees are large, eliminating the sun in the understory, and naked spruce limbs intertwine below a lush green canopy of green spruce branches. The area is dotted with red maples, grapevines, and bittersweet vines; the ground is covered by large colonies of royal, cinnamon, and New York ferns. Cultivated species of trees and shrubs border the property.
This preserve is part of the Lyme Forest Block Important Bird Area, making it a great spot for birdwatching.
Counting steps as part of your exercise routine?
Preserve-like terrain averages about 2080 steps per mile. The length of each trail is listed on the printed maps for each preserve available at the trailheads and downloadable from the interactive trail map and from each preserve webpage.