Harry Gurski Open Space
67 Obtuse Hill Rd., Brookfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut 
81 acres

Williams Park is adjacent to the Gurski Open Space with a separate entrance off Route 25. 


Saw Mill River Parkway north to its end at mile marker 29; get onto US 684 north; drive about 11 miles to mile marker 28 for exit 9E for US 84 west; drive around 10 miles to get off at exit 7 for Route 7 north; get off at Federal Road; turn left at the light and then right at the next light; (there is a Burger King and a McDonalds on the left side);  turn right onto Junction Road (Route 133 east); drive to the intersection with Route 25 (Whisconier Road); drive diagonally across the intersection to stay on Route 133 east. 

Go past St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church on the right and about two-tenths of a mile down the bottom of the hill on the left is a dirt pull-off parking area. Park.   

Gurski Farm was an old dairy farm run by Eva Gurski and was purchased by concerned residents and community groups back in 1968 who were concerned that such a unique place would be developed once it was sold.  Gurski an easy hike with large open fields as the main attraction.  Though located right off a main road and surrounded by private property, it's amazingly quiet and tranquil here.  The field is bordered by small forest growth, which gives it a hideaway feeling.  Gurski's Farm is a perfect place for relaxing and taking an easy stroll, or you might just sit down in the field and gaze at a deep blue sky. There are wild flowers, grasses, and vegetation to look at along with an abundance of wildlife. Birds, rabbits, wild turkeys, hawks, owls, deer, and fox are just a few of the wild creatures you'll might come across.  (A dawn or dusk hike will undoubtedly yield interesting encounters with the wild animals; which may include seeing a fox quietly hunting in the middle of the field.)  At the top of the hill there is a patch of woods. Here there are clearly marked paths that eventually lead to the athletic fields of Brookfield High School.  Although it's tempting to wander off into the middle of the field at Gurski, try to remember to stay close to clearly marked paths.  Birds nest in these fields, and it's easy to step on a nest with eggs without even realizing it.  (If you just can't help yourself and have to walk to the middle of the field, watch your steps carefully in order to avoid harming the animals or their habitat.)  All in all, Gurski is a good place to check out, and it is peaceful nearly all the time.  Because of its relative proximity to Brookfield H.S., you may encounter the cross country team or distance runners who have made their way over to the farm.

Main Attractions: Bird watching, open fields, scenic trails, woodlands.


8/10/2005.  Ceferino Santana, dog Sonar and I parked at a very small parking area on Long Meadow Hill Road (off Route 25).  It is located on the right side of the road between the mail box for house #12 and house #19. 

The trail heads east on a blue-blazed trail that starts after a short walk into the woods.  There is a wooden post with the number 10B.  At number 9B there is a dried up stream.  An informal path goes right (southeast).  Bear left (north).  Come to a four-way intersection. Keep heading north, straight.  Come to a boardwalk.  It is really not necessary at this season because most of the swamp on the left and this small marshy area are dried up.  Reach a T-intersection; we go left downhill rather than right to go uphill.

With a short walk and through a Phragmites area, the back of the Brookfield High School by the maintenance area is reached.  We turned around and retraced our steps back to our car. 

We drove back to the intersection of Route 25 and 133, turned left onto Route 133 east and in two-tenths of a mile parked at the pull-off on the left side of the road. There is a marker at the pull-off with a trail map of the area.  (There are a lot of different trails here.)

We primarily just investigated the field area and the wood's edge.  We could have walked north on the trail (under the boy scout trail sign) to hook up with the trails that we had walked earlier.  But since we had already made a pretty good plant list in the woods, I figured it would not be a good use of my botanizing time.  Turned around and walked back through the field to the car.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

* =  plant(s) blooming on date of field trip, 8/10/2005

Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juglans nigra (black walnut)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Populus grandidentata (big tooth aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock) 
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs and Subshrubs:
Alnus serrulata (alder)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow honeysuckle)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rhododendron viscosum (swamp azalea)
Ribes sp. (gooseberry)     ?
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)   
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Viburnum lentago (nannyberry viburnum)
Viburnum sieboldii (Siebold's viburnum)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)

Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Clematis virginiana (virgin's bower)     *
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis riparia (riverbank grape)

Agrimonia gryposepala (agrimony)     *
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)     *
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Apocynum sp. (dogbane)
Arctium sp. (burdock)    
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)  
Chelidonium majus (celandine)     *
Cichorium intybus (chicory)     *
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)     *
Epilobium sp. (willowherb)     *soon
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane)       *
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)
Galium mollugo (wild madder)     *
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 
Geum canadense (white avens)      *
Hackelia virginiana (Virginia stickseed) 
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)         *
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)      *
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover)     *
Mimulus ringens (monkey flower)     *
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)     *
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)     *
Pastinaca sativa (wild parsnip)
Penthorum sedoides (ditch stonecrop)     
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)     *
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)     *
Polygonum hydropiper (wild pepper)    *
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)      *
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup)     *
Rumex sp. (dock)
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle)      *
Solidago gigantea (late goldenrod)     *
Solidago rugosa (rough-leaved goldenrod)     *
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Tragopogon pratensis (showy goatsbeard)
Trifolium pratense (red clover)    *
Trifolium repens (white clover)    *
Vernonia noveboracensis (New York ironweed)     *
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Viola spp. (violet)

Cyperus strigosus (umbrella sedge)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark green bulrush)

Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Glyceria sp. (mannagrass)
Leersia virginica (white grass)
Phleum pratense (Timothy grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dryopteris sp. (woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)

Sphagnum sp. (sphagnum moss)


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