Suffield HAS It!
Lewis Farm, Suffield
Once in a while, I’ll realize that certain things I’ve done for CTMQ are things that not many others have done. Though I’m sure many people have walked all three of the Hartford Audubon properties. So I’m not really sure why I’m writing this introduction they way that I am.
So I’ll stop. But not before mentioning that the Frank Niederwerfer Wildlife Sanctuary in South Windsor used to be a Hartford Audubon Society property as well; it was formerly known as the Idlenot Farm. (Here’s my visit to that place.) The other two HAS properties are Greenstone Hollow in East Granby and Station 43 in South Windsor.
Lewis Farm’s entrance is along Hill Street in Suffield. Fortunately for you, The wonderful Hastings Farm is also on Hill Street (our visits) along with one of the most photogenic barns in the state.
Why is it called Hill Street? Here’s the view east across the road from the sanctury’s entrance.
There are no views within the HAS property itself, but that doesn’t diminish any of the tranquility or purpose of this place.
Almost 90 acres of former farmland that has been reverting to woodland for four or five decades. Mostly wooded, traversed by a stream emerging from a wetland and with a small pond in another low area, it lies at about 150 ft elevation in central Suffield.
Hm. That’s not really selling Lewis Farm. How’s this: HAS has done a wonderful job of maintaining a trail network through this former tobacco farm. I can only assume some of the trees here are much older than 50 years, but the majority of Lewis farm is newer growth woodland.
The birds clearly love the secluded marshes of the property, which are somewhat difficult to get to without muddying one’s feet. Birders surely know to dress properly. I kept my feet dry and walked the main trail down the hill, across the bridge, up the hill to the west end of the property, looped around back to the bridge, checked out a southern loop, and returned up the main trail to my car.
The trails are marked with various colored blazes, but I’ll be honest with you: the system seems a bit difficult to follow. All trails loop back to the wide main trail (which very most likely used to be a farm road) so don’t you worry. The HAS volunteers mow the trails as needed and have (once again) done an incredible job keeping them nice and clear.
The entrance roadway is at 1035 Hill Street. Watch for the sign beautifully restored by Sally Markey. The sign is removed October 25 – to – April 30 for some reason (weather-wear I assume), but it is a very nice sign. Park on the east side of Hill Street for now, although that lot is currently for sale (October 2017).
Remember at the top of this page I started yammering about some things in Connecticut not many have done? I put together this page which I think brings every Audubon everything together into one spot. And I’m pretty sure I’m the first nerd to do that!