Hoyt Open Space
Shelley Road, Bethel, Fairfield County, Connecticut
1.5 acres


From Kellog Street, drive east on Dodgingtown Road for 1.0 mile and turn left onto Shelly Road.  Drive to the end of Shelley Road and park. There is an opening in the woods indicating the start of the path. 


1995 --  J. Anthony and Margaret H. Hoyt donated a 1.5 acre parcel of land.

Owned by the Bethel Land Trust. 


7/13/2005.  On an overcast day, Ceferino Santana, dog Sonar and I parked at the end of Shelly Road.  I do not think that I actually walked on the Bethel open space indicated on the Bethel Land Trust map.  I think, however,  it is probably a better walk and I describe it here.

The trail opening was semi-hidden.  We pushed through the semi-closed opening and shortly came to a fork in the path.  We headed right and soon walked north.  This walk goes besides a stream and is wet in certain areas.  Crossed the stream on small rocks and came to what probably was the rest of the Old Shelly Road.  The old road is fairly wide and with a short walk brings one to Old Hawleyville Road.   We had passed by a path connecting to the right fork path so we walked back to that path and turned left onto it. 

When we came to the right fork path we turned left and started walking north again.  We are in a valley with a stream on the left.  We quickly came to an ATV area with lots of paths radiating out from a central point which also serves as a hang-out area for beer parties.  There is a "camp fire" near the center of the area surrounded by lots of litter. 

Kept walking and came to another "camp fire" place.  Getting irritated now.  Walking onward the path heads up hill to the right out of the valley.  We soon came to the top of the hill.  It is pretty flat.  Off to the right there is an even more open area (probably the result of a fire). A short ways to the left are signs indicating that the land beyond is part of the Newtown Forest Association's Wildlife Preserve. The path on top of the hill is hard to follow but we did fairly well.  We came upon a T-intersection with a woods road.  We turned right to follow the woods road.  It made a horse-shoe turn and entered the burned area I had seen earlier in the distance.  We could have kept walking along the Newton Forest Association border or continue following the path (but it was now heading north and we needed to go south).  We decided to turn around and head back. 

When we got back to the connecting path between the two parallel trails, we kept going straight.  Very shortly the path came back to the parking area and our car.

This walk can be a long one because it connects to other paths.  I will have to visit the Newton wildlife preserve in the near future.   Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.

9/02/2005.  I found out the name of the Newton Forest Association area.  It is the James Burnot Preserve on Taunton Hill Road in the town of Newtown.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

*  =  plant blooming on date of field trips, 7/13/2005; 9/02/05  -- plant blooming on this date

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Populus grandidentata (big toothed aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs and Subshrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)  
Chimaphila maculata (striped wintergreen)     *
Cornus alternifolia (alternate-leaved dogwood)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)    
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)  
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry))
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)

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

Agrimonia sp. (agrimony)
Alisma subcordatum (southern water plantain)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)     *
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)  9/02/05
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)  9/02/05
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)  
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Chelidonium majus (celandine)    *
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)     *
Cryptotaenia canadensis (honewort)
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink)     *
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
Geum canadense (white avens)     *
Impatiens sp. (touch-me-not)   
Lapsana communis (nipplewort)     *
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Medicago lupulina (black medick)     *
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)     *
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum arifolium (halberd-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)     *
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb)
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil)   
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)    
Silene latifolia (white campion)     * and 9/02/05
Solidago caesia (bluestem goldenrod)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)

Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex crinita (fringe sedge)
Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered type sedge)
Carex lurida (sallow sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark-green bulrush)
Scirpus validus (softstem bulrush)

Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Elytrigia repens (quack grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Lycopodium clavatum (running pine)
Lycopodium digitatum (southern ground pine)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)


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