Blacksmith Ridge Open Space
Woodcock Lane, Ridgefield, Fairfield County, Connecticut
15 acres


3 different places to park:
cul-de-sac on Blacksmith Ridge Road;
road shoulder on Woodcock Lane; and
side of road at mailbox #184 on Peaceable Ridge Road.

Saw Mill River Parkway to its end (at mile marker 29); don't get onto US 684; get off instead at the exit for Route 35; at the light turn right and drive 11 miles to the intersection with Route 33; turn left and drive 0.5 of a mile to make a left turn at the light onto Catoonah Street; drive 0.4 of a mile and turn right onto High Ridge Avenue; drive a short ways and turn left onto Barry Avenue; drive 0.7 of a mile to make a left turn onto Woodcock Lane; park on the right by the sign for Blacksmith Ridge.


woodland pool at the south end, wetlands


An hour and 20 minute generally difficult walk

6/21/2005.  On a warm day dog Sonar and I  parked on the shoulder on the right on Woodchuck Lane.  A huge black dog started barking at us and just would not let up.  So we started walking downhill past the dog's house.  Lo and behold, he shows up on the trail with us very interested in smelling Sonar.  I did not know if he was friendly or not so I went into my dog act, speaking in a high voice and not looking the dog in the face.  The dog turns out to be friendly and he decides to tag along with us.  We head downhill to a skunk cabbage marsh around a small stream and then uphill.  The trail quickly ends at Peaceable Ridge Road by mailbox #184, one of the three entrances.  So, I realize that I have to turn around and see what went wrong.  When I reach the stream again I see the yellow trail blazes heading up stream.  I turn right with the dogs in tow and walk along the stream  We are in a valley.  The trail heads uphill away from the stream for awhile and then turns left back down to the stream again.  The trail then heads uphill all the way to Peaceable Ridge Road.  The black dog wanted to keep walking along the road, but I called him back so we could return to his home and our car.  Back at the car, I thanked the dog for the walk.  He looked a little confused when we pulled away in the car.  

The walk is a short one.  I don't think it is a difficult walk  -- maybe moderate.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.


Catalog of Ridgefield Open Spaces:

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

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

Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)    
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs and Subshrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)   --- lots
Cornus alternifolia (alternate-leaved dogwood)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)  
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)     *
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrows honeysuckle) 
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)   *
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)
Agrimonia sp. (agrimony)
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)    * 
Antennaria plantaginifolia (plantain-leaved pussytoes)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)
Cardamine impatiens (narrow-leaved bittercress)
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot)
Galium mollugo (wild madder)     *
Galium sp. (bedstraw)    
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)  
Impatiens sp. (touch-me-not)
Lapsana communis (nipplewort)     *
Medicago lupulina (black medick)     *
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)     *
Paronychia canadensis (forked chickweed)
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Polygonum arifolium (halberd-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)     *
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil)
Prenanthes altissima (tall white lettuce)
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup)     *
Ranunculus recurvatus (hooked crowfoot)     *
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Sisyrinchium sp. (blue-eyed grass)     *
Solidago caesia (blue-stemmed goldenrod)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)     *
Thalictrum sp. (meadowrue)
Trifolium pratense (red clover)     *
Trifolium repens (white clover)     *
Veratrum viride (swamp hellebore)
Viola palmata (palmate-leaved violet)
(fox glove)     *

Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered type sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge)

Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Glyceria striata (meadow mannagrass)
Panicum sp. (panic grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Polypodium sp. (rockcap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris hexagonoptera (southern beech fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)


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