Preserves with No Public Access
In addition to acquiring and protecting properties with public access, East Haddam Land Trust works to preserve lands in perpetuity even when public access is not practical. Sometimes, trails are simply not feasible on a property. In other cases, landowners maintain the use of the property but enter into a legal agreement with the land trust to refrain from development (an easement). Public access to easement properties will vary depending on the objectives of the easement and the legal agreement with the landowner.
The H. Bailey Easement
H. Bailey Conservation Easement consists of 20 acres between Smith Road and Bashan Lake that includes 300 feet of Bashan Lake shoreline. Generations of East Haddam residents will remember this area as "Bailey's Beach" which, for years, offered cooling relief from summer's heat. Though the beach has eroded from wave action, property owner Harold Bailey wanted to preserve this area of mixed hardwood forest with some areas of evergreens and wetlands in its present state. There is no public access to the property but the Conservation Easement prevents the development of an environmentally important forested area along the pristine waters of Bashan Lake.
The Brownell Easement
The Brownell Easement consists of 19 wooded acres along Bashan Lake. There is no public access to this property.
The Clarke Preserve
Clarke Preserve consists of 2 acres north of and abutting Gillette Castle State Park. The preserve has 250 feet of frontage on River Road and a small meadow that shines with daffodil blossoms each spring. West of the meadow is a small mixed-hardwood forest and an intermittent stream. There are no marked trails on this preserve. The preserve was generously donated by Kay Clarke in honor of her husband Logan Clarke. Logan was an EHLT board member in the early years of the land trust who was particularly fond of our river properties.
The Dombroski - Meadow Brook Preserve
EHLT's Moodus River Preserves include this approximately 8-acre parcel consisting of scrub wetlands and the well-known large white oak tree off of Falls Road (Rt. 151) in the Moodus section of East Haddam. Access is at the end of Meadow Brook Road. This property has no trails.
The Gelston Easement
This property consists of hayfields and woodland off of Bogel Road. There is no public access. Note: the Town of East Haddam Gelston Easement off of Daniels Road is open to the public and contains trails.
The Helmboldt Easement
An 83-acre easement on quaint Petticoat Lane was given to the Land Trust in 1997 by the late Melba and Harold Helmboldt. This easement of beautiful vistas is part of a classic New England farm of undulating hills used for haying, mature mixed hardwood forests, ponds, a small marsh, and pristine Hungerford Brook.
A visitor overlooking the property might see a harrier soaring a few feet above the grassy fields in search of prey, or a fox stalking at dawn or dusk. Otter and mink inhabit the wetlands and bear sightings have been reported. The border between the fields and woodland is a perfect habitat for nesting songbirds. Grassland species of birds, many whose populations are rapidly declining in Connecticut, nest in the expansive grasslands.
The easement enables the owners of the farm to continue using the land. The fields are kept open by annual mowing, and the owners retain use of the hay. The buildings on the property are not part of the easement. The Helmboldts' foresight to preserve the land in an open space easement by partnering with the land trust is a gift that will benefit the trust, citizens of East Haddam, and the Helmboldt heirs forever.
The Kashanski Easement
This property includes approximately 3 acres along the Eightmile River. It is opposite the Hammond Mill Preserve and has no public access.
The Keech Preserve
A narrow band of land between Salmon Cove and Route 149 was once divided into many small parcels previously used as hayfields by local farmers. There is historical evidence that these lots were also sites for salmon and shad fishing. The land is now overgrown with a thick tangle of trees, shrubs, and vines. The land is ecologically productive as an important site for over-wintering bald eagles, nesting waterfowl, songbirds, and populations of furbearers. Osprey feed and migrate in the area and the preserve holds the potential for osprey nests.
The 2.8-acre Keech Preserve has frontage on the mouth of the Salmon River and extends eastward into a productive tidal marsh that extends to Route 149. There are no hiking trails. This site is best accessed by canoe.
The Red Mill Preserve
This .5-acre woodland parcel that abuts a portion of the Moodus River. There are no trails.