Samuel E. Hill Little River Preserve
- Town of Redding
- Northwest side of Tunxis Trail North turnaround off Mattatuck Trail off Newtown Turnpike.
Access also from Cross Highway at Crossfield
- Tunxis Trail North. Do not park in private driveways.
Cross Highway at Crossfield (parking limited)
- Rivulus, 1.07 miles, white
Quercus, 0.3, blue
Palus, 0.25, blue
Fraxinus, 0.52, white
Apex, 0.35, blue
Equus, 0.4, white
Total all trails: 2.89 miles
Background: Little River Preserve consists of four originally separate but contiguous parcels acquired by the Town in the 1970's through direct acquisition and subdivision setaside. Trails were mapped in 1980 by Clifford Emmanuelson, director of Devil's Den Preserve in Weston, and subsequently cut by volunteer crews working under the supervision of the Conservation Commission. Like so many of the areas described in this book, the preserve contains a great number of old stone walls dating to the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries-a reminder of Redding's agricultural heritage.
Key Features: There is this to be said for the preserve-it has more than a little of a lot of good things. A marsh in the north and a swamp in the south; the river, west; the hardwood uplands, dead center to east. The river is a scenic delight here, and may best be enjoyed along the Quercus (oak) Trail, and from overlooks along the Rivulus (little river) Trail. If it's heights you fancy, strike out for the top of Apex Trail, or scramble along the top of the northern escarpment (again on the Rivulus Trail). The Fraxinus Trail is named for the white ash, though many other hardwood species flourish along this central way. And the Palus (swamp) Trail provides a short spur around the edge of a shrubby wetland.
As for the Equus (horse) Trail, it provides the only northern access or egress for horseback riders and cross-country skiers.
It may not be easy to stay dry when crossing the Little River on the Rivulus trail.The Boy Scouts had built a splendid bridge at the fording spot, but this bridge washed away in 2011 flooding. ❧