Prospect Ridge Open Space
Prospect Ridge, Ridgefield, Fairfield County, Connecticut
34 acres


Saw Mill River Parkway to its end (at mile marker 29); don't get onto US 684; get off instead at the exit for Route 35; at the light turn right and drive 11 miles to the intersection with Route 33; turn left and drive a short ways to a make a right turn onto Branchville Road (Route 102); turn left onto Ivy Hill Road; in a short distance turn left onto Prospect Ridge; in a short distance turn right into the parking area of the skating rink.

Parking is at the skating rink on Prospect Ridge.  To get to the trail entrance, walk along the southern edge of the outdoor soccer field following the yellow trail blazes..


woods, wetlands


30 minute, easy walk

6/21/2005.  Dog Sonar and I parked in the parking lot of the skating rink.  We walked along the southern border of the soccer field following the yellow trail blazes.  The blaze system is very bad.  I found it difficult to follow the blazes and the situation is made worse given that there is no clear trail on the ground itself.  The general idea is to head northwest across a wooded area, downhill to a pond, and then back along parallel with the eastern stone wall boundary to head back uphill to the entrance way.  Easier said than done:  but there is no real danger since the area is rather small and there is little underbrush.  I had to do some bushwhacking (without the bushes) to get back to the entrance way. 

If you want to study invasive species, this is a good place.  It seems to have all the major problem invasives and in spades: garlic mustard, multiflora rose, Japanese barberry, euonymus bushes, Asiatic bittersweet, and narrow-leaved bittercress.  I enjoyed the pond.

Close of the pond on the eastern border, there is a jogging path with people heading back and forth.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney. 


Catalog of Ridgefield Open Spaces:

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

*  =  plant blooming on date of field trips, 6/21/2005

Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)    
Carya cordiformis (pignut hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Crataegus sp. (hawthorn)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fagus sylvatica (copper beech)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Larix sp. (larch)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus sp. (crab apple)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs and Subshrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)   --- lots
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)  
Euonymus europaeus (European euonymus)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrows honeysuckle) 
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)   *
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)  
Salix sp. (willow)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)     *
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (smooth arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum lentago (nannyberry viburnum)

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelainberry)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vincetoxicum nigrum (black swallowwort)  
Vitis sp. (grape)
Wisteria sp. (wisteria)

Aegopodium podagraria (goutweed)     *
Ajuga repens (ajuga)     *
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)    *  lots and lots
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort)
Cardamine impatiens (narrow-leaved bittercress)
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed)
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy)     *
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)  
Galium mollugo (wild madder)     *
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)  
Impatiens sp. (touch-me-not)
Lapsana communis (nipplewort)     *
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs)
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil)     *
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)  
Medicago lupulina (black medick)     *
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)     *
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)     *
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup)     *
Ranunculus repens (creeping buttercup)     *
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Sisyrinchium sp. (blue-eyed grass)     *
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade)     *
Solidago caesia (blue-stemmed goldenrod)
Solidago canadensis var. scabra (tall goldenrod)    
Stellaria graminea (lesser stitchwort)     *
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)     *
Trifolium pratense (red clover)     *
Trifolium repens (white clover)     *
Tussilago farfara (colts foot)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)     *
(water meal)

Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge)

Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Glyceria striata (meadow mannagrass)
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)


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