Huckleberry Swamp (The Steichen Preserve)
- Connecticut Audubon Society
- Topstone Road
- At Topstone Park Entrance
- One mile (approx.)
Background: The Edward Steichen Memorial Wildlife Preserve, better known as Huckleberry Swamp, was donated to Connecticut Audubon Society in 1973 by Redding Open Lands, Inc. It is a tenacious sort of swamp. Captain Steichen tried to drain it in the 1930's. You can still see the ditches. Yet the swamp prevails.
Key Features: The trail follows the edge of open water, then loops uphill through adjoining woodlands. Underlying the swamp is a 30-foot-deep deposit of peat and muck-the remains of what CAS naturalist Gay Mills calls "an ancient calcareous bog." She adds: "Because of the 'sweet' nature of the swamp, unusual plants such as dwarf birch and rush aster can be found." A red maple community dominates much of the wetland. Willow, sedge and ferns appear in the more open shrub associations. ❧