James Brunot Preserve
Taunton Hill Road, Newtown, Fairfield County, Connecticut
72.7 acres


1970  --  land donated by James Brunot.


9/02/2005.  This was an interesting walk for me personally because it solved a little mystery for me.  Ceferino and I had walked the Hoyt Open Space in Bethel on  7/13/2005 and came upon an area with markers indicating the Newtown Forest Association.  I wondered what was the name of this Newtown preserve/forest.  Well, today I found out.  The Hoyt Open Space and the James Brunot Preserve are connected via a trail system in the area. 

We started the journey by heading west; the trail turned left (south) to head downhill parallel with a ravine on the right; reaching the end of the small ravine, the trail crosses past the ravine on the right;  the trail headed turn southwest, going uphill a bit; for awhile until we came out into a huge area with fields; there is a T-intersection here.  We decided to go right (north).  (We actually made a loop trail from here, returning to this spot.)

There were many signs saying No ATVs all over the preserve.  (I wondered why they had so many such signs  -- but I learned later when I saw an adjacent land area considerably damaged by ATVs.)

Turn left (west) and then northwest to follow one of several trails through one of the fields.  We followed the trail back into the woods.  We walked west on the trail; it was where the woods opens up (fire damage?) on the left that I thought  I recognized the land of the Hoyt Open Space area.  

Recognizing it, I wanted to make sure I was right and see how the trail systems connect.  So we proceeded farther west and then downhill to a ravine.  This area was even more familiar.  We reached a T-intersection by the ravine.  We turned left and followed the trail all the way to where we had parked on 7/13/2005 at the end of Shelley Road, town of Bethel.

Walking back I decided to turn right on a path heading sharply uphill.  (I suspected that this uphill path was created by ATV enthusiasts.  There is a lot of trail damage caused by these vehicles.)  It was hard going but we made it up the hill.  We followed the trail east.  The trail ended at a residential house.  So we turned left to go a short distance through the woods to the east end of the fields. We walked along the field edge with the woods back to that T-intersection at the meeting of the fields and the woods, completing a loop.

We then  followed the trail back to our car.  I was filled with a great deal of satisfaction when we reached the car.  I was tickled to find a connection to two different open spaces in two different towns.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.  

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

*   = plant blooming on date of field trip, 9/02/2005

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus malus (apple)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Corylus sp. (hazel)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Staphylea trifolia (bladdernut)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)

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

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)     *
Agrimonia gryposepala (common agrimony)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Amphicarpaea bracteata (white baneberry)     *
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster acuminatus (sharp-leaved aster)     *
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)     *
Aster spp. (aster)     *
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)     *
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink)     *
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)     *
Galium sp. (bedstraw)
Hieracium paniculatum (panicled hawkweed)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs)     *
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco)     *
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonatum biflorum (smooth true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)    *
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)     *waning
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan)     *
Satureja vulgaris (wild basil)
Solidago bicolor (silverrod)
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod)
Solidago rugosa (rough-leaved goldenrod)    
Solidago spp. (goldenrod)     *
Trifolium pratense (red clover)     *

Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex laxiflora type (sedges)
Carex lurida (sallow sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Bromus inermis (smooth brome grass)
Cinna arundinacea (wood reedgrass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Digitaria sp. (crab grass)
Phleum pratense (Timothy grass)

Lycopodium obscurum (ground pine)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)

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