Aldrich Park
Ridgefield, Fairfield County, Connecticut
65 acres


From the intersection of Route 35 and Routes 33 and 102 in Ridgefield, turn left and drive 1.8 miles to make a right turn onto Farmingville Road;  drive 1.2 miles and turn left onto New Road; make an almost immediate left onto Aldrich Park Road and park in the parking lot on the right.


woods, ledge outcroppings, boulder field


There are trails for hiking (with some steep sections )and camping.

The Orange Trail is an easy, short walk alongside stream and wetlands.

6/21/2005.   On an overcast day, Dog Sonar and I parked at the parking lot at Aldrich Park.  Follow the trail with blue hash mark on white blazes; come to a T-intersection with orange blazes going both right and left;  decide to turn left;  turn right and pick up the yellow trail heading downhill (north); pass by a baseball field off to the left; we are up on the cliff looking down; on the right is a sign saying "To the Orange Trail" (this is a short cut to return to the parking lot); we keep on heading forward; go over a stone wall; turn left walking parallel with a stone wall; reach a sign for a side trail to the cliff ledge; nice view from the ledge; turn around and head back to the start of this side trail; the trail heads steeply downhill; the footing is not easy; reach a large skunk cabbage marsh and turn right with the blue trail (to make a longer trail follow the blue trail left); this place reminds me of Butler Preserve in Westchester County with the skunk cabbage swamp on one side and cliffs on the other; walk across a wooden bridge and the walking becomes much easier; cross back over the stream via another wooden bridge; head uphill; reach the short loop trail -- the orange trail and the blue hash mark trail with a sign saying "To the ballpark"; follow the trail back to the car. 

The park is certainly not my favorite, it is best to follow the loop trail clockwise because otherwise one would have to make a steep climb (although it is no picnic coming down the steep incline either).  

Big problems with winged euonymus and Japanese barberry, as in many other natural areas.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.


Catalog of Ridgefield Open Spaces:

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

*  =  plant blooming on date of field trips, 6/21/2005

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)    
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Crataegus sp. (hawthorn)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (basswood)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs and Subshrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)   --- lots and lots
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)   --  lots and lots
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)     *
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)   *
Rubus sp. (blackberry)  
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vincetoxicum nigrum (black swallowwort)  
Vitis sp. (grape)

Actaea alba (white baneberry)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)    *
Allium canadense (wild garlic)     *
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)
Cardamine impatiens (narrow-leaved bittercress)
Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh)
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)  
Galium circaezens (wild licorice)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)  
Impatiens sp. (touch-me-not)
Laportea canadensis (wood nettle)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)  
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Prenanthes altissima (tall white lettuce)
Solidago caesia (blue-stemmed goldenrod)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Veratrum viride (swamp hellebore)  

Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered type sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex rosea type (rosea type sedge)

Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Adiantum pedatum (maidenhair fern)
Botrychium sp. (rattlesnake fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris intermedia (fancy woodfern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)


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