Cross Hill Road Open Space

Cross Hill Road, Bethel, Fairfield County, Connecticut


From Shelly Road, drive 0.2 of a mille and turn right onto Jacklin Road; drive 0.4 of a mile and turn left onto Codfish Hill Road; drive 0.6 of a mile and then keep heading straight onto Aunt Patti's Lane East; drive 0.1 of a mile and turn right onto Cross Hill Road; park at the end of the road.  There is a very informal opening into the woods.


2000  --  four parcels were donated Golden Wood and Tony DiIorio and sons (1.2, 3.7, 1.8, and 14.4 acres).

Owned by the Bethel Land Trust. 


7/13/2005.  There really isn't much of a path here.  There is a combination informal and deer trail going into the woods up to the Phragmites marsh; the path turns left and heads along the Phragmites and then uphill for a short ways. But once beyond the Phragmites one can fairly easily bushwhack through the woods in different directions until one comes to residential housing. 

I got a little lost and went back and forth for awhile until I found the return path.  When I got back a policeman stopped me.  Apparently, a woman in one of the house was concerned that I might be some burglar casing out the housing.  I explained to him what I was doing and he said it was o.k.  He was very nice about it.  I am just glad that I had my Bethel Land Trust website land maps so I could show the police officer the existence and placement of the open space land. 

I mentioned to him that while nearby Ridgefield has their open space marked with signs, his town does not.  These land trust organizations and such have dual goals that are somewhat contradictory.  They want to get credit for acquiring public lands, but don't really want  a lot of the public to know where the places are.  Bethel Land Trust has a good mapping system but they still make it tough actually to find the land and/or the entrances into the open space.  And I have to face the consequences of this. This is not the first time.  The policeman agreed that even the open space neighbors don't realize it is open space  -- just that no one can build on it.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney. 

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

*  =  plant blooming on date of field trips, 7/13/2005

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus sp. (crab apple)

Shrubs and Subshrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)  
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)    
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)  
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Salix sp. (willow)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)     *
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)     *
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)     *
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)     *
Epilobium sp. (willowherb)
Galium aparine (cleavers)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
Impatiens sp. (touch-me-not)   
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)    
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)   
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup)     *
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Trifolium pratense (red clover)     *
Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot)

Carex crinita (fringe sedge)
Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered type sedge)
Carex lurida (sallow sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark-green bulrush)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Leersia virginica (white grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)


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