Follow the Falls Celebration & Clambake
Honors Local History and Environment

Sunday June 3 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm (Rain or Shine)
Osage Trails Preserve, Foxboro Road, Essex

Celebrate the history and natural beauty of Falls River Cove area with a riverside soiree and clam bake, hosted by Essex Historical Society and Essex Land Trust, held at Osage Trails Preserve, Foxboro Road, Essex, June 3rd from 4 – 6pm. Learn about the groups’ major collaborative partnership, investigating the Williams Complex & Shipyard, 1689 – 1845, ‘hidden’ below Falls River Cove for 150 years. Osage Trails is as close as the public can get to the site of the former shipyard, now on private property. The Clambake will be catered by Flanders Fish Market.


Follow the Falls represents a joint effort by Essex Historical Society and the Essex Land Trust to tell the remarkable story of the Falls River which binds together the three historic villages of Ivoryton, Centerbrook and Essex to form what we know today as the Town of Essex. Besides its historic significance, the Falls River is home to a rich natural history, kept alive by the four Essex Land Trust preserves located along its winding shores.


In 2018 Follow the Falls explores the area’s natural history, Native American and European settlements, the harnessing of the river’s water power and the industrial development of Falls River Cove. and the industrial development of Falls River Cove.


Thanks to new technology, a 24-page booklet and conversations with research participants, attendees can look through this window into the shipyard’s history. See how local resident and environmentalist Diz Callender’s vision was realized as she donated this beautiful parcel to form the Osage Trails Preserve with its rich natural history. The ongoing project is made possible with support from Overabove, the Community Foundation of Middlesex County and Guilford Savings Bank, as well as private funders.


Admission is $65 per person for the event and clambake. Event limited to first 150 registrants. Your registration and payment must be received no later than May 25 to be placed on the reservation list. Tickets will not be mailed out or sold on the day of the event. (Please keep your confirmation of payment as your event admission receipt. Sorry no refunds.) For more information, www.essexhistory .org or 860-767-0681


Photo credits:
A colorized postcard, circa 1910, shows the sawmill, dam and mill pond, part of the Williams Complex & Shipyard, which once stood at the mouth of Falls River Cove. Photo courtesy of Essex Historical Society.



12th Annual Land Trusts Photo Contest

Amateur photographers and members of six local land trusts celebrated the Twelfth Annual Land Trusts Photo Contest at a reception on April 6 at the Lymes’ Senior Center in Old Lyme. Three hundred and fifty photo entries from more than 140 participants were on display depicting the wildlife, flora and scenery of East Haddam, Essex, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Salem. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the prizes for the best photos in the categories of landscape, wildlife, plants, youth, black & white and cultural/historic.


The contest’s judges, Skip Broom, Amy Kurtz-Lansing and Joe Standart selected the winners of each category. Andrew Heist’s “Marshy Way” earned the top prize of the John G. Mitchell Conservation award. This year’s contest featured such a large number of youth participants that the land trusts decided to add a ‘Fan Favorite’ award, enabling all of the reception attendees to vote for their favorite Youth photo. The Fan Favorite award went to eleven-year-old Ashley Holt of Westbrook for her photo entitled “Phragmites on the Shore.”


To see all of the contest winners, visit

Andrew Heist



Essex Open Space Properties Brochure - January 2016 Edition

We have updated our properties brochure to include all Essex Land Trust and Town of Essex Open Space properties. Twenty-one different locations are listed as well as two pocket parks. This brochure lists the properties, gives a brief description and specifies access points including GPS coordinates which can be used on most smartphone map applications. In addition, there is a town map showing where all the properties can be found. The Essex Land Trust owns, manages and holds conservation easements on approximately 879 acres of town land, 600 of which it owns outright. Properties are open to the public free of charge. Click Here to access a copy of the latest Essex Land Trust Properties brochure.






The Trust for Public Land Releases Official Trail Map for The Preserve

We are pleased to release of the first Official trail maps for The Preserve. There are two versions available: one of the entire property and a second that zooms in to the Essex sections. The 1000-acre forest, known popularly as The Preserve, this unique, intact and contiguous tract is now open for public passive recreation. Among other characteristics, The Preserve features 114 acres of wetlands, including 38 vernal pools; 3,000 feet of watercourses; a 30-acre swamp; a mature coastal forest, three rocky ridge formations and a diverse population of animals and plants (for example, 25 species of amphibians, 30 kinds of mammals and 57 different birds). The Essex Land Trust manages the 70 acres located in the town of Essex and has established two access points, both of which are on Ingham Hill Road, off of Route 153, Westbrook Road. Trails have been marked. Download a copy of either map by clicking the map image below.






Essex Woods & Waters
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