Recreational Guidelines

The Lyme Land Trust (LLT), in cooperation with the Town of Lyme (TOL), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and other conservation partners maintains open space for the recreational use by the public. Please follow these simple guidelines while you enjoy your visit to these beautiful places. Click here for info on CT State Forests. 

Hours
Sunrise to dusk

All marked trails are available for hiking.

Follow basic safety rules

  • Let someone know where you are going, especially if you are alone.
  • Familiarize yourself with the area you will be using and know the activities that occur there. Carry a trail map or take a photo of the map at the Trailhead with your smart phone. 
  • Be prepared. Bring or wear layers of clothing for changes in the weather. Bring drinking water. 
  • If you see another person while in the woods, call out to them to make them aware of your location.
  • During hunting seasons, mid-April thru May, and September 15 thru January 31, wear brightly-colored clothing. 
  • Stay on marked trails.
  • Look up and watch out for hazardous trees while in forested areas. Several years of storms, drought, and insect infestations have severely damaged a significant number of Connecticut’s trees. Stay out of the woods during windy conditions. 

Pets

Dogs are welcome on the LLT and TOL properties. Be respectful of other people, and stay away from sensitive habitats. 

  • Don’t bring a dog you can’t control to the preserves. Keep your dog leashed or under very close supervision at all times. 
  • Leash or hold your dog if other trail users approach. Many people, including other dog owners, are apprehensive about loose dogs and resent dog owners who are inconsiderate of their feelings. 
  • Don’t allow your dog to chase wildlife or trample in sensitive areas. Keeping your dog on a leash not only protects ground-nesting birds or other wildlife that inhabit these preserves, but it also protects your dog.
  • Please pick up after your dog. Do not leave plastic bags of waste.

Multi-use trails

Multi-use trails are for hiking, mountain bicycles, horseback riding (at your own risk – trails are not groomed for horseback riding). If you’re riding a bike or horse, please wear a helmet. The TOL, TNC and the LLT allow the use of bicycles and horseback riding on the following trails:

  • Lyme Corner Trails – Hartman, Walbridge and Young: all trails, except white trails.
  • River to Ridgetop Preserves – Johnston, Jewett, Mt Archer Woods, and Eno Preserve: yellow, white, fuchsia, and purple trails only.
  • Chestnut Hill Preserve, Beebe Preserve, Plimpton Preserve.

Multi use trail etiquette

  • Cyclists yield to everyone.
  • Hikers yield to horses (equestrians).
  • Horses (equestrians) yield to no-one on the trail.
  • A note about horses.  Even though they are big, horses can be timid and can’t see well directly in front of them. It often helps to speak to the rider so the horse recognizes you as a non-threatening person.
  • Remember you are sharing the trail with many others. Not everyone is familiar with trail etiquette.  Let other trail users know how to approach and pass through both voice and hand signals.

Hunting
Consent to hunt may be granted on several properties in the Lyme Hunting Program. Click here for information about the hunting program.

Respect the environment

  • Please take out everything that you bring into these natural places, including all trash. And we appreciate those who pick up trash they see along the way.
  • Please respect the integrity of the natural systems and do not disturb plants, animals or habitats, except for trail maintenance. You may remove invasive plants. Do not attempt to feed any wild animals.
  • Please avoid activities that promote trail erosion. Do not take short cuts. Walk carefully through mud or water if you cannot avoid them. Do not blow leaves off the trails. 
  • Avoid bicycle and horseback riding on wet or muddy trails whenever possible.
  • No fires are allowed unless otherwise posted. 

Respect the stonework and historic sites. 
The landscape of Lyme is crisscrossed with stone structures that are the remains of thousands of years of human history on the landscape, from the earliest indigenous populations to the agriculture of the 19th century. As stewards of our land, private and public, it is up to us to protect and preserve them from future destruction.

  • Artifacts and their placement tell a story.
  • Digging, removing them, altering the placement, or adding stones destroys the story forever.
  • Climbing on or toppling rocks can cause considerable damage to walls and structures already exposed to a great many threats.
  • Please leave stone walls and stone structures undisturbed in the woods.
  • Please do not disturb historic sites. Do not remove historic artifacts, including those in farm dumps, without authorization. 

Metal detecting

Metal detecting is not allowed without written permission. Contact the manager of the preserves to obtain permission:

Town of Lyme: openspace@townlyme.org
Lyme Land Trust: Jim.Arrigoni@lymelandtrust.org

The use of metal detection devices is allowed with permission on land under the jurisdiction of the the Town of Lyme, Lyme Land Trust, and the CT DEEP under the following conditions: The activity shall be limited to surface collection. Digging must be done by hand with all motorized devices prohibited.  All holes dug must be refilled immediately before the collector leaves the site. Do not disturb stone walls or structures, or damage vegetation. 

Respect closed trails

  • Trails may be closed to repair environmental impact or because of potential user conflict.
  • Observe any posted signs at the properties that may describe closed trails for hunting activity.

Respect property rights

  • Most Lyme Land Trust conservation easement properties are not open to the public. Remember, all users are required to obtain permission from the owner before entering private property. 

Motorized vehicles
Motorized vehicles are not allowed on any of the properties except for trail maintenance and safety/rescue.

  • Never block an access gate. Parking in front of one could impede first responders and rescue equipment unnecessarily.

Trail reports
Please use this form to report any observations or issues with the trails.

If you have any questions regarding these properties or activities, contact the Lyme Land Trust, info@lymelandtrust.org

Turkey Tail Mushroom
Roaring Brook Preserve by Baylee Drown
Fall leaves
Hartman Park Beaver Pond
Sunrise at Johnston Overlook by David Luke
Star moss and mushrooms
Vernal Pool Selden Creek Preserve-