Grace Richardson Conservation Area
Fairfield, Fairfield County, CT
87.4 acres


Merritt Parkway north to exit 44; turn left onto Congress Street; turn left onto Black Rock Turnpike; go under the Merritt Parkway and turn right onto Congress Street.  Drive 0.5 of a mile and turn left onto Morehouse Highway.  Almost immediately, on the left, is the parking area for the Conservation Area. 


acquired: 1966-1970

With assistance from the State of Connecticut, the National Park Service, the US Department of the Interior and the Fairfield Conservative Commission.


hiking, wildlife conservation, wetland protection


11/18/2005.  On a cool but beautiful day, Ceferino Santana, dog Sonar and I parked by the sign for the Conservation Area.  We picked up the yellow trail near the parking area.  In a short distance we saw the yellow trail also coming in from the left.  We figured that this is going to be a loop trail using the yellow trail as the main trail.  We kept heading north.  The terrain is very hilly.  We found two small waterfalls, one on the left and the other on the right of the path.  The one on the right is created by a dam, creating a small pond.   The blue trail goes right following along the pond/stream.  We decided to follow it and so left the yellow trail for the blue.  We noticed that there was frost on the leave on the ground.  This is the first frost of our 2005 hiking season. 

The  blue trail goes uphill and away from the stream; blue turns right to head down to the stream; reach the ruins of a small structure; cross over the stream and turn left to go along the stream heading north; as we approach a golf course straight ahead, the path turns left to re-cross the stream.  The trail goes uphill on to the top of the ridge.  We are now heading south through a stone wall.  We cross three streams.  For a short cut go straight ahead; the yellow trail goes right; it reaches a T-intersection; turn right (west) to go uphill, bending right (north); turn left and head into a field.  Take a semi-circular detour to the field.  The yellow trail turns right to head downhill through more field; heading now south downhill; reach a long boardwalk; the red trail goes left (another short-cut), yellow goes right and through a stone wall; yellow goes right; we decide to take a shortcut by turning left onto the orange trail; it heads south and back through the stone wall and another stone wall.  The trail goes parallel with Congress Street on the right.  See a pond also on the right near the road.  We meet the red trail coming in from the left (obviously another short-cut trail).  Reach the main entrance trail, turn right and head the short distance to the car.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney, 11/18/2005

Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple))
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Carya sp. (hickory)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chimaphila maculata (striped wintergreen)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus flagellaris (northern dewberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)
Wisteria sp. (wisteria)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Asparagus officinalis (asparagus)
Aster spp. (aster)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)
Galium aparine (cleavers)
Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)
Pycnanthemum sp. (mountain mint))
Pyrola sp. (pyrola)
Solidago spp. (goldenrod)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)

Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered type sedge)

Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)


Back to the w. Connecticut Page
Back to the Main Page