Stony Brook Woods
Park Ledge Road, Darien, Fairfield County, Connecticut
11.3 acres


US 95 north to Exit 11; turn left onto Boston Post Road (Route 1); head underr US 95; take first right turn onto Ledge Road; drive less than 0.3 of a mile; the Park is on the right by the waterfall (shortly after passing the Resource Recovery Authority).


Stony Brook flows north/south through the park.  In the southeast area of the park the Stony Brook joins with Cummings Brook to create the Darien River.  The River then flows into Gorhams Pond which in turn heads southwest to Cove Harbor on the Long Island Sound. 


Hiking trails, waterfall with benches to sit and watch, small lawn area.


10/28/2005.  On a cold morning, Ceferino Santana, dog Sonar and I toured Stony Brook Park We were really upset because our detailed map of Fairfield County showed the park as bordering West Avenue.  But when we toured that area we realized that they had put up one house there and are now finishing a second one.  But, maybe the map company had gotten the park borders wrong.

Anyway, we tried Ledge Road and found the park.  The waterfall here is very close to the road.  The water was running pretty fast and made for a pretty picture.  Stony Brook and Cummings Brook meet at the base of the waterfall and continue south through a culvert under the road.   (One drawback is noisy US 95 nearby.)

In order to find the trail, we walked along the park border east.  Just as we came to a wooden fence marking the border, we noticed a path heading along the fence.  So we turned left to follow the trail.  The trail heads uphill for a short ways and then heads to a wire fence beyond the wood fence.  We thought that the trail might end here, but we pushed on ahead.  We found out that the trail was just temporarily blocked somewhat by invasive species (multiflora rose being one of them). 

A short walk brought us to Stony Brook.  We turned left to follow the path paralleling the stream.  The path bore left to bring us to the top of the waterfall.  To finish the walk we had to cross the stream on what we called "Scary Bridge".  The bridge consists of two narrow tree trunks with wooden planks nailed to them. The spacing of the first planks are nice and close but mid-way across the planks are farther apart.    So when crossing you can go slow at first, but the pace suddenly speeds up quickly as one has to step farther to walk on the planks that are more widely separated from each other.  Dog Sonar started to cross the bridge ahead of us but suddenly froze when the planks were farther apart.  So I had to pick him up mid-bridge, which was not an easy task, and walk both of us across. Needless to say, all three of us had our reservations about crossing the bridge.  But it held and we were able to continue the loop a short distance to the parking area.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.  

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = plant found in bloom on date of field trip, 10/28/2005

Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)     planted
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Ulmus sp. (elm)

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Forsytyhia sp. (golden bells)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)     *
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii? (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium sp. (a low bush blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum sp. (viburnum)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Euonymus fortunii (Fortune's euonymus)
Hedera helix (English ivy)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaf greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort) 
Aster cordifolius (heart-leaved aster)     *
Aster spp. (aster)     *
Chelidonium majus (celandine)
Impatiens sp. (jewelweed)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)     *
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum virginianum (Virginia knotweed)
Solidago bicolor (silverrod)
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod)     *
Solidago spp. (goldenrod)
Trifolium pratense (red clover)

Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)

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