Woodcock Nature Center
54/56 Deer Run Road, Ridgefield, Fairfield County, Connecticut

146 acres


Driveway off Deer Run Road at Ridgefield-Wilton border

Saw Mill River Parkway north to its end at mile marker 29; do not get onto US 684, but rather take the exit for Route 35; at the light turn right; drive 11 miles to the main street in Ridgefield; turn right onto Route 33 (the town center is to the left); turn left onto East Wilton Road; turn left onto Whipstick Road; turn right onto Nod Road; turn right onto Deer Run Road; the entrance and parking area is on the right at 54/56 Deer Run Road.


Spectacle Creek is part of the Norwalk River Watershed.  The wetlands here are due to two dams in the Spectacle Creek watershed.


1972  -- founded by former Ridgefield Selectman Mortimer Woodcock. 

The Center leases 146 acres of state-owned lawn.



pond, swamp, views of Spectacle Brook


Guided tours and limited camping.  There are two miles of trails.  The Interpretive Center has an exhibit area, classroom and store.  The other building on the grounds is the Staff House.


45 minute, easy walk

yellow trail  = Alice M. Wohlberg Trail; semi-circle trail coming off and returning to the red trail;  has a short boardwalk into the wetlands.

red trail  =  Dr. Jean Henley Trail; the main loop trail.

blue trail  =  Barbara Jones Trail; forms a semi-circle leaving from the yellow trail and returning to the red trail. 

A purple trail is a side trail off the red trail leading to an outdoor class room and Spectacle Creek.   


6/23/2005.  On a beautiful day, dog Sonar and I parked in the parking lot at the entrance to the nature center.  Walked down the entrance way to near the nature center.  From their bridge I took a looked around the pond and outlet stream. Returned to the main entrance way and took a look at the trail map posted at the kiosk.  Started out with the red trail; quickly switched to the yellow trail;  nice boardwalk lets one enter into the shrub swamp;  returned to the yellow trail; passed by the blue trail to pick up the red trail again.  Investigated the purple trail.  It does not go very far; it heads to an outdoor classroom and then to Spectacle Creek; returned to the red trail; the red trail goes goes into the upland woods;  it heads back toward the nature center, going in back of it and then by the dam.  And such was our loop trail.  Met the director, Hendrick; a friendly fellow.  He asked me if I had found any pink lady slippers.  I did not.  It seems that they did have some in the not too distant past, but the deer seem to have wiped them out.   Dr. Patrick L. Cooney


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

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

*  =  plant blooming on date of field trips, 6/23/2005

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)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus pensylvanica (green ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs and Subshrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)  
Cephalanthus occidentalis (button bush)
Chimaphila maculata (striped wintergreen)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)     *
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)  
Forsythia sp. (golden bells)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)     *
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)     *
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Lyonia ligustrina (maleberry)     *
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)     *
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pink azalea)
Rhododendron viscosum (swamp azalea)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)   *
Rosa palustris (swamp rose)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Rubus sp. (dewberry)
Salix discolor (pussy willow)
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet) 
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum dentatum (smooth arrowwood viburnum)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)

Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)    * 
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Anemone quinquefolia (wood anemone)
Arabis glabra (tower mustard)     *
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Bidens sp. (beggar tick)
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Cardamine impatiens (narrow-leaved bittercress)
Coronilla varia (crown vetch)     *
Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)
Galium aparine (cleavers)
Galium mollugo (wild madder)     *
Galium palustre (marsh bedstraw)     *
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)  
Hieracium caespitosum (field hawkweed)     *
Impatiens sp. (touch-me-not)
Lapsana communis (nipplewort)     *
Lemna sp. (duckweed)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)     *
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)  
Medicago lupulina (black medick)     *
Nuphar advena (southern pond lily)     *
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonatum biflorum (smooth Solomon's seal)
Polygonum arifolium (halberd-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)     *
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)     *
Prenanthes altissima (tall white lettuce)
Ranunculus repens (creeping buttercup)     *
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Sium suave (water parsnip)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade)    
Solidago caesia (blue-stemmed goldenrod)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)  
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Trifolium repens (white clover)     *
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Veratrum viride (swamp hellebore)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Viola sp. (violet)

Juncus tenuis (path rush)
Luzula multiflora (wood rush)

Carex crinita (fringed sedge)
Carex intumescens (bladder sedge)
Carex lurida (sallow 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)
Glyceria striata (meadow mannagrass)
Lolium perennial (perennial rye grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass))
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Poa compressa (Canada bluegrass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern))
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)


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