Steep Rock Association
Out in the quiet and beautiful New England town of Washington there is a series of protected parcels collectively called the Steep Rock Preserves. The Steep Rock Association owns and manages these preserves and when I started CTMQ, they were a bit of a well-kept secret. Since then, I’ve seen one of their major three properties listed on Best hikes in Connecticut lists several times.
Including my own. Steep Rock is one of the oldest land trusts in Connecticut and much of the land was preserved well before preserving such things was a thing to do. In the Spring of 1889, just as he was about to break ground on his own country house in Washington, the architect Ehrick Rossiter discovered that the wooded hillsides in his dramatic view to the west were slated for clear cutting. For him, there was only one thing to do. Using the construction money for the house, he bought the threatened land from the timber company and saved forever the 100 acres that now form the heart of the Steep Rock reservation (the Clamshell). He kept the land protected for decades and then donated it to a group of trustees who founded the Association.
The trails are fantastic. Let’s get to them.