Barely a Five and Dime Trail
Marcia Woolworth Porter Preserve, Stonington
I spent more time looking for this trail than hiking it. And I spent more time gawking at the waterside mansions down here than walking the out and back spur.
But… the excellent Avalonia Land Conservancy lists the Marcia Woolworth Porter Preserve among their trailed properties and that’s the bar I’ve set for visiting, walking, and writing about things – even if the 7 minutes it will take me to write this page is two minutes longer than it took me to walk the preserve.
You get the point. This is a very short trail.
The Marcia Woolworth Porter Preserve is the small, southernmost parcel of the four Wamphassuc Neck Marshes Preserve. These are all most inaccessible, environmentally sensitive salt marshes just north and south of the Amtrak train line off of Wamphassuc Point Road on Wamphassuc Point in Stonington.
If you have the urge to complete all of the Avalonia Land Conservancy Trails – a noble goal, by the way – drive south across the train tracks and keep your eyes peeled to the right. A short way before the road becomes private, there’s a dicey pull-off and a small sign noting “DEEP Coastal Access” (pictured at top). You’ve made it!
Now walk the 0.09 mile trail through the woods, across the boardwalk, and to the end with a little bench. Enjoy the view of the marsh and the osprey stands. Seriously. Take a moment. It’s lovely, even when I visited on a wind-whipped late fall day.
Then turn tail and head back to your car.
That’s it! But seriously, this little trail allows visitors to take in a tiny portion of the larger protected marshland, and that’s what’s important. I’m happy this little trail exists and that it provides a nice little protected view of the Connecticut coastline.
To me, that’s worth more than a five or a dime.