Spectacle Swamp/Silvermine Ridge Open Space
East Windsor Road, Ridgefield, Fairfield County, Connecticut
50 acres

The open space is close to the Old Spectacle Lane open space.


Saw Mill River Parkway north to its end at the junction with US 684; stay in the right lane and get off at the exit for Route 35 instead of getting onto US 684; at the light turn right; drive 10.9 miles to the junction of Rt. 35 and Route 33; drive 0.2 of a mile and turn left onto East Windsor Road.  Drive 1.3 miles and park on the left side of the road onto a small pieced of shoulder across from house #75 on the right of the road. 


an easy 20 minute walk


6/15/2005.  The weather was so much cooler than the past few days.  We caught a break.  Ceferino Santana, dog Sonar and I parked along the shoulder across from house number 75.  This place looks so neat and proper that one might think they were in a botanical garden.  The paths are mowed.  We were very pleased with the place.  Cefe was especially pleased because the ground was flat and the walking easy. 

We start heading east.  On our right is a small stream.  I have never seen so many larger forget-me-not flowers in one place.  It was quite lovely.  There are lots of invasives but they don't really detract from the beauty of the place. 

With a short walk the path reaches a 4-way intersection with a small bridge over the stream.  But the paths on the right by the stream peter out.  One can turn left and follow the path or cross over the 2-log bridge and turn left to follow the path.   In other words, there are paths on both sides of the small stream.  But if the hiker goes over the bridge, there are many side paths off the main path along the stream to follow. 

We crossed over the bridge and went to where the path dead-ended at private property.  The path turns left, heads over a bridge and then onto East Windsor Road. We could have walked the short distance along the road back to our car, but we turned around to walk back through the park-like area and then back to our car.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney. 


Catalog of Ridgefield Open Spaces: http://www.rosaopenspace.org/catalog/index.html#Blacksmith%20Ridge

PLANT LIST:  (includes the road and pond area along Spectacle Lane where there is a parking area)
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

* = plant blooming on date of field trips, 6/15/2005

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Salix alba var. (weeping willow)
Salix sp. (willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Ulmus sp. (elm)

Shrubs and Subshrubs:
Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)   lots of it
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)     *soon
Corylus sp. (hazel)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Euonymus europaeus (European euonymus)
Forsythia sp. (golden bells)  
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)  
Hibiscus syriacus (rose of Sharon)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)    *  
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)    *
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry)
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra)  
Rhamnus frangula (European buckthorn)  
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pink azalea)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)   *
Rosa palustris (swamp rose)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)  
Salix spp. (willow)  
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)     *
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Viburnum dentatum (smooth arrowwood viburnum)    *
Viburnum lentago (nannyberry viburnum)

Celastrus orbiculatus (deer-tongue grass)  
Clematis virginiana (virgin's bower)
Euonymus fortunii (Fortune's euonymus)   ?  
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)  
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vincetoxicum nigrum (black swallowwort)    *  
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)    *
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)
Bidens spp. (beggar ticks)
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Callitriche sp. (water starwort)
Cardamine impatiens (narrow-leaved bittercress) 
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed)  
Duchesnea indica (Indian strawberry)
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane)    *
Eupatorium maculatum (spotted Joe-Pye-weed) 
Galium aparine (cleavers)    *
Galium mollugo (wild madder)    *
Glechoma hederacea (gill over the ground)   *
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket)    *
Impatiens sp. (touch-me-not)
Iris sp. (iris)
Lapsana communis (nipplewort)    *
Lemna sp. (duckweed)
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort)
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Medicago lupulina (black medick)    *
Myosotis scorpioides (larger forget-me-not)    *
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)   
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)    *
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum arifolium (halberd-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose knotweed)    *
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil) 
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup)    *
Ranunculus  repens (creeping buttercup)    *
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad-leaved dock)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)  
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Trifolium pratense (red clover)    *
Trifolium repens (white clover)    *
Urtica dioica var. procera (tall nettle)
Veratrum viride (false hellebore)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)    *

Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex crinita (fringed sedge)
Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered type sedge)  
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)  
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark-green bulrush)

Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Elytrigia repens (quack grass)
Glyceria sp. (mannagrass)
Holcus lanatus (velvet grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)  
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
Phleum pratense (Timothy grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reedgrass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horse tail)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)  
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)  
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)  
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)


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