The Town of Essex covers an area of 10 square miles with a population of approximately 6,500. Its location along the west bank of the Connecticut River gives it a privileged perspective in an area recognized by The Nature Conservancy as one of the “Last Great Places” in the Western Hemisphere. The natural beauty and vitality of the community is further enhanced by the Falls River watershed which courses through the town’s three villages before flowing into the Connecticut River.
The Town boasts 23 different open space preserves representing nearly 1,100 acres or 16% of the Town’s land area. The land trust itself own 650 acres while the balance is held by the Town and The Nature Conservancy. There are 32 miles of hiking trails over the 73 trails found in total Town of Essex open space preserves. Click HERE for a map of all Town preserves.
Essex Land Trust and other Town properties are open sunrise to sunset, and we encourage everyone to enjoy these open spaces. Many have trails and we only ask that a few simple rules be followed. Please do not hunt, camp, bike, make fires, smoke, use motorized vehicles, remove, or destroy plants. Dogs are welcome. However, dogs must be always on leash or under owner’s control. Be respectful of other walkers and please clean up after your pet.
Canfield - Meadow Woods
300 acres – 15 trails
Stewards: Roger Field (860-767-8559), George Wendell (860-767-1593), Tom Soboleski (860-304-1503) – Chuck Grusse (860-767-7577)
Access: Book Hill Woods Road, Dennison Road and Eagle Ridge Drive, Essex. Off of Route 154, Deep River.
Falls River Preserve, Falls River Park, Stanley Park, & Jean's Island
56 Acres – 5 trails
Stewards: John Matthiessen (860-767-1222), Wilk Miller (646-618-1906)
Access: at the end of Falls River Drive, off Main Street, Ivoryton. Canoe/Kayak access to Mill Pond at Falls River Park.
Fern Ledge, Farm Hill Estates
17 acres – 2 trails
Stewards: Jeff Hutchinson (860-395-7456), Adrienne Brochu (860-767-2280), Steve Bancroft (203-668-8909).
Access: next to Middlesex Hospital Occupational & Environmental Services facility, off Route 153, Essex. New access from end of Carol Lane.
North Cove & Great Meadow
91 acres – No trails
Steward: Todd Samuelson (860-304-7790)
No public access by land. Canoe/Kayak access from Bushnell Street landing, Essex.
James Glen, Doanes’ Woods, Woodja Hill
James Glen (2 trails), Doanes’ Woods (4 trails), Woodja Hill (3 trails)
Stewards: David Newbegin (860-767-9158), Dirk Samuelson (860-391-2205), Mike Augusta (860-772-7280), Mark Kayfez (860-581-0526)
Access: Hudson Lane, Navy Lane, and Oxbow Lane, Essex.
Steward: Wilk Miller (646-618-1906)
Access: Corner of North Main Street and New City Street, Essex.
923 acres (70 acres in Essex) – trails
Stewards: Myron Stacks (860-510-3458), Todd Samuelson (860-767-7298)
Access: two parking locations on Ingham Hill Road, off of Route 153, Essex.
47 acres – 5 trails
Steward: Jeff Croyle (845-323-0039)
Access from 3 locations: behind Essex Financial offices, Route 153, Essex; at end of Windermere Way, off of Mare’s Hill Road, Ivoryton; at end of Windsor Lane, accessed from Edgewood Avenue, off of Main Street, Ivoryton.