Weir Nature Preserve
Nod Hill Road, Wilton, Fairfield County, CT
110 acres


From downtown Wilton, drive north on Route 33 for 2 miles; turn right onto Nod Hill Road; drive 3.3 miles down the road; entrance on the left.


The land is underlain by gneisses and granites with numerous outcrops. Two wetlands drain into Comstock Brook in the southern part of the preserve.


1882  --  J. Alden Weir, a noted American impressionist painter, purchased the farm as a summer retreat.  He expanded the house twice.

1919  -- death of J. Alden Weir. 

Other artists who have lived here are the sculptor Mahonie Young and the painters Doris and Sperry Andrews. 

1969 --  Cora Weir Burlingham gave TNC a gift of 37 acres in honor of her father, J. Alden Weir.

Now the preserve has more than double in size with gifts from Eugenia Slaughter, in memory of George Leary; from Geoffrey and Elizabeth Baker, in memory of Anna White; and from Roger Geffen, Elsie French and Helen Littauer.

On the northeast, the Weir Farm National Historic Site, the former home of J. Alden Weir, borders the Weir Preserve. The historic site is open Wednesday through Sunday.

Buildings on the site include the Weir House, Weir Studio, Young Studio and Weir Barn.   


ledges, wetland, woods, fields


A walk of two miles or less. Check the trail-system map on the entrance sign set back 400 or 500 feet from the road. This is basically a short circular walk, but one that can be greatly expanded by taking three out-and-back detours. The detours make an appearance at 6 o’clock on the ciricular walk (south), 8 o’clock (southwest), and 11 o’clock (northwest).  Source: Cooley, Chapter 23.

6/05/05.  On a clear, warm day members of the Torrey, Connecticut and Long Island Botanical Societies toured the Weir Preserve.  We covered quite a bit of territory.  We walked by the farm buildings and turned left to head through the fields.  One of the highlights was the bristly locust that was in bloom.  Entering the woods we stopped at the kiosk to take a look at the map.  We then turned right.  We made a left onto the blue and white with blue stripe trail(s) 

We started heading into the mountain laurel covered ridge, but decided to examine a marshy area first.  Blue flag was in bloom.  Up onto the ridge, we walked until we came to a small stream on the left.  The group took a look at a large rock outcrop and a few went down to investigate the skunk cabbage dominated marsh.  We crossed a small bridge over the stream and walked back up another mountain laurel and sweet pepperbush dominated ridge. 

We turned left and descended to a larger stream and crossed using the large boulders.  The goal was to find a pond we saw on the map.  On the other side of the stream we picked up the orange trail, which we followed until we came to a housing area  -- turned around and went all the way back to the parking area where we ate lunch. 

The trip leader was Carol Levine.  Some of the members in attendance included Skip Blanchard, Patrick Cooney, Kelly Davis, Ed and Yirka Emerson, Richard Kelly, Sarah-David Rosenbaum, Maggie Shore. 

After lunch, Carol and others excused themselves, while Kelly Davis was very gracious in volunteering to lead the remaining participants to the Weir Pond on the parking lot side of the farm and preserve.  It was a short walk to and around the large man-made pond, but we added around twenty new species to the plant list.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney. 

Carol Levine and members of the Torrey and Connecticut Botanical Societies

* = plants blooming on date of field trip, 6/05/2005

Acer pensylvanicum (goosefoot maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta  (black birch)
Betula populifolia  (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana  (musclewood)
Carya ovata  (shagbark hickory)
Castanea dentata  (American chestnut)
Castanea mollissima (Chinese chestnut)
Cornus florida  (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia  (American beech)
Fraxinus americana white ash
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera  (tulip tree)   *
Nyssa sylvatica  (tupelo)
Picea abies  (Norway spruce)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus serotina  (black cherry)
Pyrus malus (apple)
Quercus alba  (white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina black oak
Sassafras albidum  (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis eastern hemlock
Ulmus americana  (American elm)

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Aralia hispidus (bristly locust)  *
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cephalanthus occidentalis  (buttonbush)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Euonymus alatus  (winged euonymus)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry) *
Hamamelis virginiana  (witch hazel)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)  
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)  
Mitchella repens (partridge berry)
Myrica pensylvanica  (bayberry)
Rhododendron maximum (rosebay rhododendron)  planted
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinxter flower) *waning
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus flagellaris (northern dewberry)  *
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)  
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)  *  
Syringa vulgaris (lilac)  planted
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum) 
Vinca minor (periwinkle)

Echinocystis lobata (wild cucumber)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax glauca (sawbrier)  ?
Smilax rotundifolia  (round-leaved greenbrier) 
Vincetoxicum nigrum (black swallowwort)  *
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow) 
Actaea sp. (baneberry)
Aconitum sp. (winter aconite)  hort. 
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Anemone quinquefolia (wood anemone)
Antennaria plantaginifolia (plantain-leaved pussytoes) 
Arabis glabra (tower mustard)  *
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arisaema triphyllum  (Jack in the pulpit)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Asparagus officinalis (asparagus)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Bidens sp. (beggar-tick)
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Capsella bursa-pastoris (shepherd's purse)  *
Cardamine impatiens (narrow-leaved bittercress)  *
Cardamine pensylvanica (Pennsylvania bittercress)
Chelidonium majus (celandine)  *
Cypripedium acaule  (pink lady slipper)  *
Erigeron pulchellus (Robin's plantain)  *
Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)  *
Galium aparine (cleavers)  *
Galium mollugo (wild madder)  *
Galium pilosum (hairy bedstraw)  *
Galium spp. (bedstraw)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)  *
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily)  
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket)   *
Hieracium caespitosum (field hawkweed)  *
Hieracium sp. (hawkweed)  * glaucous basal leaves
Impatiens sp. (jewelweed)
Iris versicolor (blue flag)  *
Lemna minor (lesser duckweed)
Leonurus cardiaca (motherwort)
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)  *
Melampyrum lineare (cow wheat)
Monotropa uniflora  (Indian pipe)
Ornithogalum nutans (star-of-Bethlehem)  *  planted
Oxalis sp.  (yellow wood sorrel)  *
Pedicularis canadensis (wood betony)  *waning
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)  *
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum arifolium (halberd-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose knotweed)  *
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)  *
Prenanthes sp. (lettuce)
Pycnanthemum sp. (mountain mint)
Pyrola rotundifolia (round-leaf pyrola)  
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaf crowfoot)  
Ranunculus bulbosus (bulbous buttercup)  *
Rumex acetosella (sheep sorrel)  *
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Sisyrinchium sp. (blue-eyed grass)   *
Sium suave (water parsnip) 
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Solidago caesia (blue-stemmed goldenrod)
Symplocarpus foetidus skunk cabbage
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)  *
Thalictrum dioicum  (early meadowrue)
Tradescantia virginiana (spiderwort)  hort.  planted  *
Trifolium pratense (red clover)  *
Trifolium repens (white clover)  *
Trillium sp. (trillium)
Veratrum viride (false hellebore)  *
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Veronica arvensis (corn speedwell)  *
Veronica serpyllifolia (thyme-leaved speedwell)  *
Viola cucullata  (marsh blue violet)   *
Viola sp. (violet) 
Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle)  planted

Luzula multiflora (wood rush)

Carex crinita (fringed sedge)
Carex debilis (white-edged sedge)
Carex intumescens (bladder sedge) 
Carex laxiculmis (spreading sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex platyphylla (broad-leaved sedge)
Carex stipata (awl-fruited sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)

Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Arrhenotherum elatius (tall oats grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
Phleum pratense (Timothy grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass)
Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass)

Equisetum arvense  (field horsetail)
Lycopodium obscurum (ground pine)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Athyrium thelypteroides  (silvery spleenwort)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris carthusiana (woodfern)
Dryopteris intermedia (woodfern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis  (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polypodium sp. (rockcap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis  (New York fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)

rock tripe lichen
Sphagnum sp. (sphagnum moss)  


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