Graham Thompson Preserve, Litchfield Land Trust, Litchfield
I swear something weird happens to me every November in Litchfield.
For several years running now, I reserve a turkey at Bunnell Farm in town and of course plan some CTMQ’ing around that trip. This usually involves some Litchfield hiking and exploring. Fair enough.
But I think this is the third straight year I’ve left sunny West Hartford and wound up getting precipitated on in Litchfield. I say “precipitated” because it’s always been a mix of rain, snow, and sleet. It’s like the town is a vortex of angry clouds.
And frankly, this trail is so short that it barely rates CTMQ mention… except for the cool cloud pictures. You see? Black clouds in blue skies!
The main draw here is the community garden. In fact, 99% of people who come here come here to garden. But in 2018 the Litchfield Land Trust established a trail from the gardens into the Graham Thompson Preserve, so it made a list on this website and I hiked it.
All ten minutes of it, out and back. (Which is good, considering the doom clouds.)
The gently sloping mowed field path is called the Marsh Hawk Trail.
Land trust member Dean Birdsall explained during the dedication that the organization’s volunteers named the trail a year ago after spotting a pair of marsh hawks swooping over the top of high grass in a field on the preserve, a property named after the late longtime president of the organization.
“The birds mesmerized the group with their acrobatic maneuvers as they combed the marshy grassland for prey,” Birdsall said. “It was beautiful, it was poignant and it reminded us why we do this.”
And that’s a good reminder why I do this. This whole “go walk trails and write about them” thing. This is surely the easiest trail I’ll describe in Litchfield and… that’s fine! Pretty great, actually. Heck, this trail could be navigated by almost anyone, which makes it a good trail.
It ends at a viewing platform over the marsh. About which the Land Trust’s Birdsall says, “The scenery delights the eyes, and the sound of the breeze and the birds is a balm for the soul.”
Okay, now that’s a bit much. Crackers, even. But perhaps late November isn’t the best soul-balming time here.
Apparently the trail was extended in 2020 down to the pond, but I’m either blind or my soul was embalmed in 2023 because I didn’t see that. Rather, I did a u-turn and walked back to my car to go get my turkey.