Pine Creek Marsh
Fairfield, Fairfield County, CT
77 acres


US 95 north to exit 20; turn left and left again to a make still another left to get onto Route 1 (Boston Post Road) heading north.  Pass over the bridge spanning Southport Harbor.  Just after Lindberg Street, turn right onto Pine Creek Road.  Drive about 1.0 miles to make a left turn onto Old Dam Road  between Veterans Park on the north land Pine Creek Par 3 Golf Course on the south.  After passing the playing fields of Veterans Park there are several parking areas.  On the left one can see the path causeway.  One can park at the stairs on the left or do what we did: turn left onto Old Dam Road East and parked at the cul-de-sac by the stairs heading up to the causeway.


Acquired 1940-1979


wetland protection, wildlife conservation


11/19/2005.  On a slightly cold day, Rosemary Cooney, Sarah-David Rosenbaum, Ceferino Santana, dog Sonar and I had a very pleasant surprise at the size of the path system here.  We had no idea that many of the individual pieces of marsh land are connected by this system.  We parked at the end of Old Dam Road East.  There is a big St. Bernard dog that just kept barking at us, but he never left his property.  We figured that maybe the owners have an "invisible fence" to prevent the dog from leaving his property.  We could have parked at many other places since there are many entrances to this Salt Meadow Park. 

We walked up a small set of stairs and onto a raised causeway.  We had a choice of a right or left turn; we chose right.  There is a great vista off to the left  (northwest) looking over the large salt marsh with its masses yellow Spartina alterniflora grass.  On the right is Pine Creek.  They say an open vista is calming.  I think we were more excited than calmed by the view.  The causeway just suddenly comes to an abrupt end.  Across the way it looks like a sand quarrying business.  The great thing about this part of the causeway is that there are many occurrences of bristly locust which we very rarely see.  This is the biggest concentration we have seen. 

We turned around to return to our starting point and then continue on the causeway.  We would soon discover that the path system creates a giant C around the vista area.  We came across a sign saying Marshland Interpretative Station: Salt Meadow Park.  This gave us a hint of a larger united system of land parcels.  The causeway heads over to the eastern end of Veterans Park with its playing fields and enclosed tennis courts. 

We crossed over the bridge spanning Pine Creek.  A path heads off to the left going west.  (This path takes the walker over to the cul-de-sac of Salt Meadow Road where there is easy parking.) 

We kept heading north and then followed the path (really more of a road at this point) southeast.  This section is covered with Phragmites australis (giant reed grass).  We felt that this was a former quarrying area because there are many piles of  large rocks.  The path finally ends at a wire fence around that quarrying area that we saw from the end point of the causeway at the start of the walk. 

Near the quarry area there is a short path off to the right.  that goes over to the edge at the salt marsh.  We took a short-cut here by heading up and over a small embankment covered with a bedstraw species.  We started the walk back.  Approaching the bridge over Pine Creek, we took that path heading west over to the cul-de-sac on Salt Meadow Road. 

Reaching the cul-de-sac, we found the large signs saying this are was Pine Creek with 220.3 acres open space, acquired 1941-1981. 

We turned around back to the bridge, crossed it and walked back to our car and the barking St. Bernard.  On the way back we passed a fellow running his two Irish wolf hounds in Veterans Park.  Big dogs. 

We all were pleasantly surprised by what we found here because we had no idea of the large size of the path system.    Dr. Patrick L. Cooney 

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney and Sarah-David Rosenbaum

*  =  plants blooming on field trip, 11/19/2005

Acer negundo (ash-leaf maple)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)  lots
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Paulownia tomentosa (empress tree)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus calleryana (callery pear)  planted
Pyrus malus (apple)
Pyrus sp. (crab apple)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)

Baccharis halimifolia (groundsel bush)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Iva frutescens (marsh elder)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry)
Rhus copallina (winged sumac)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Robinia hispida (bristly locust)  lots of it
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rosa rugosa (wrinkled rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix sp. (willow)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Polygonum scandens (false climbing hempweed)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster spp. (aster)
Atriplex patula (orach)
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed)
Chelidonium majus (celandine)
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)
Coronilla varia (crown vetch)     ?
Datura stramonium (jimsonweed)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)    
Euthamia tenuifolia (slender-leaved goldenrod)
Gallium asprellum (rough bedstraw)     hillside of it
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (sweet everlasting)
Hieracium sp. (hawkweed)
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper)
Lespedeza capitata (round-headed bush clover)
Limonium carolinianum (sea lavender)  
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs) 
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)    
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum sp. (smartweed)
Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil) 
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade)   
Solidago sempervirens (salt marsh goldenrod)     *
Solidago spp. (goldenrod)
Trifolium pratense (red clover)
Urtica dioica var. procera (tall nettle) 
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Verbena hastata (blue vervain)

Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Ammophila breviligulata (beach grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Eleusine indica (zipper grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Panicum virgatum (switch grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reedgrass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)
Spartina alterniflora (salt marsh cordgrass)

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