Big Brook, a tributary of the Eightmile River, runs through this 19.67 acre property forming a unique geological feature on this site – a gorge with sides 75 feet high in some areas. Sheltered by a mature hardwood forest canopy and groves of Mountain Laurel, the soil at the base of the gorge retains the cold of winter long after the normal spring thaw, and thus can support wildflowers normally only found in the colder regions of New England.
The Salem Land Trust purchased from the Wheaton family in 2010. The hiking trail that leads to the scenic gorge is particularly well marked, making it very easy to follow for novice hikers.
Dogs are allowed on leashes, no hunting or motorized vehicles.
DIRECTIONS: Park on east side of road at 750 Hartford Road (Rt. 85)
Finding the entrance to the well-marked trails at Big Brook Gorge Preserve can be difficult. The State of CT DOT owns the land along the road, so SLT has not been allowed to place a prominent sign for hikers to find the entrance. There is a small sign just into the woods.
Clues: Traveling north on Rt. 85 the last mailbox in Salem on the right-hand side is #716. After this there is a long guardrail and a 50 MPH sign. Immediately at the end of this guardrail is the hidden entrance to Big Brook. Slow down and pull-off the road immediately after this guardrail and you will be at the entrance. Please tell your friends!