Guard Hill Nature Preserve
Park at Methodist Church, off Route 57, Westport, Fairfield County, Connecticut
5.7 acres

Aspetuck Land Trust


Merritt Parkway north to Exit 42; turn right onto Weston Road; at the light turn left onto Ford Road.  Drive 0.5 of a mile and park in the pull-off on the right (west) side of the road across from the Preserve entrance.  (Parking area just north of house #83.)


woods, field, river


11/07/2005.  Just a brief stop; jotted down a few plants.  The path heads uphill and then to the right, but we did not follow it.  May or may not come back tomorrow.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.

11/09/2005.  On a cool afternoon, Ceferino Santana, dog Sonar and I returned to this place to walk up the hill.  The white-blazed path zig-zags its way up the hill.  Nearing the top of the hill, a yellow trail goes off to the left.  The white trail heads to the very top where there is a large field.  The trail turns right and makes a U-turn left to head across the field.  It then turns/bears right to head through a stone wall.  A short walk from here brings the walker to the second-tier parking area behind the United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston.  The hiker can park in this parking lot and takes the trail through the field, down the hill in the woods and then out to the Sagautuck River. 

At the church we turned around and retraced our steps, but on the other side of the field by the start of the woods we picked up the yellow-blazed trail.  This brought us back to the white trail.  We turned right and zig-zagged our way down the trail back to the parking area by the Saugatuck River.   The walk does not take very long, but is rather enjoyable.   Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = plant blooming on date of field trip, 11/07/2005 or 11/09/2005

Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Acer sp. (Japanese maple)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus sp. (elm)

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Lindera benzoin (spice bush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry)
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra)
Ribes sp. (gooseberry)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (arrowwood viburnum)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Ajuga reptans (ajuga)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Apocynum sp. (dogbane)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Asparagus officinalis (asparagus)
Cirsium sp. (thistle)
Galium mollugo (wild madder)     *
Pycnanthemum sp. (mountain mint
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan)
Rumex sp. (dock)
Satureja vulgaris (wild basil)
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle)
Solidago spp. (goldenrod)
Trifolium pratense (red clover)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)

Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem gras
Tridens flavus (purple top grass

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)