Chapal Farm Preserve
Chapal Farm consists of three properties - Patrell, Pizzini, and Boot Rock - that make up the beautiful and unique 109-acre Preserve that protects 3000 feet of the Eightmile River, a nationally designated Wild & Scenic River. The forest cover of mixed hardwoods helps protect the riverbanks and maintain cool water temperatures essential for a healthy fish population.
Old fields on the property provide habitat for ground-nesting birds and other wildlife. The Preserve:
exhibits geographic features including glacial eskers, kettle holes, and boulders.
contains vernal pools and perched wetlands that are home to many amphibians.
is part of the Lyme Forest Block Important Bird Area, making it a wonderful location for viewing migratory and overwintering woodland birds.
allows fishing along the Eightmile River.
has a paved trail providing handicapped access to the river.
is one end of the 14-mile Goodwin Trail that stretches from East Haddam to East Lyme.
offers stunning views of the Eightmile River from a 75-foot volunteer-built footbridge.
The 42-acre Patrell Property was acquired in 2007 by a coalition of land preservation organizations - the Towns of East Haddam and Lyme, The State of Connecticut, The Nature Conservancy, and the East Haddam Land Trust and the Lyme Conservation Land Trust.
The property was owned by the family of Oliver and Kay Patrell, who originally had the property approved for subdivision and listed for sale. An appraisal at that time gave the property value of $1.1 million. When approached with the idea of creating a preserve, however, they agreed to take the property off the market and negotiate a sale that would still meet their financial needs. Without the family’s willingness to work with the partner organizations and their desire to see the land conserved, this acquisition would never have become a reality.
The Pizzini Parcel and Boot Rock Preserve were acquired from the Pizzini family niece. The Pizzini family once used the property as a summer camp. The Boot Rock portion is so named by the Pizzini family because of the sole-shaped rock along the Eightmile River just north of the footbridge.
This property is maintained by the Town of East Haddam. For additional information, contact the East Haddam Conservation Commission.