Chapman Pond Preserves
Chapman Pond is a large tidal pond located in the southwestern corner of East Haddam. It is connected to the Connecticut River by two tidal creeks. The area played an important role during the Town's development as the center of fishing activities and the growing of livestock hay for the town's farmers. Small strip lots of meadow belonged to each farm family. Every year, farmers harvested hay from the wet meadows that spanned the pond and the river. Periodic flooding damaged the hay meadows until The Great Flood of 1936, followed by the 1938 hurricane, buried the hay meadows under debris making reclamation impractical. As a result, a floodplain forest and marsh became established.
Chapman Pond and the floodplain and the surrounding upland forests have gained ecological importance in this scenic, somewhat remote area. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and East Haddam Land Trust worked cooperatively to preserve the area. Now over 700 acres are preserved. East Haddam Land Trust owns several small parcels contiguous to that of TNC. Efforts to preserve the remaining small parcels continue.
The six East Haddam Land Trust parcels are accessible only by boat at high tide. The Nature Conservancy properties are accessible by boat or by trail off of River Road. There is parking at the end of an old woods road, which begins at the 90-degree turn on River Rd. about 1/4 mile from Route 82. The trail begins beyond the parking spaces.