Photos above are from a BLT sponsored guided hike on Saturday, November 5, 2022 conducted by Mat Jobin from "Reach Your Summit". Participants hiked the Blue Trail to the top of the traprock ridge and experienced the Alice Fern Bruce Preserve. The panoramic views of the fall foliage were spectacular. Hikers descended the mountain using the White Trail which was blazed for the Berlin Land Trust by the folks at CFPA (Connecticut Forest & Parks Association).
- Introducing the Alice Fern Bruce Preserve -
In December of 2019, the Berlin Land Trust purchased 47 acres of pristine land on Lamentation Mountain to preserve in perpetuity. The property is very close to other open space property that has, in large part, already been protected. Its purchase is the culmination of a long-term, co-operative program of open space protection on the historic mountain, which began about fifty years ago. It is one of the final pieces of the puzzle needed to protect the entire Lamentation Mountain ecosystem.
- See the Preserve for Yourself -
Take a virtual hike on Lamentation Mountain along with Ray Archacki. See where people park, the trail up the mountain and the views. Ray provides running commentary on the geology of the area and the trap rock ridge that makes up Lamentation Mountain. This is a fun little experience and great chance for you to preview the Alice Fern Bruce Preserve. Please give it a try.
The Alice Fern Bruce Preserve is located above the abandoned Stantack Road at the intersection of Middletown and Berlin. The significance of this parcel is magnified by its central, interior location, and the fact that it is very well buffered on all sides by other undeveloped land. The land contains five distinct critical habitats, three basalt ridges and easy access to the Connecticut Blue Blazed Trail. The cliff line, described by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association as "perhaps the most scenic traprock ridge walk in the state", is a prominent feature- visible for miles.
“This piece of property has it all, critical habitats for raptors, box turtles and other wildlife,
a rare and state-threatened Swamp Cottonwood grove,
and cliffs and ridgelines that offer sweeping views of central Connecticut”
Sigrun Gadwa, Ecologist, Carya Ecological Services
Ms. Gadwa performed a detailed ecological assessment that gave the Berlin Land Trust the information they needed to submit an impressive open space grant application to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). It was our first-ever grant to DEEP and we were fortunately awarded funding by the state that payed for 65% of the appraised property value. The trust then raised funds to pay for the difference and the additional costs required by the state for a boundary survey and signage for the property.
This project is particularly meaningful to the land trust members, who worked with Alice Fern Bruce, a founding member of the Berlin Land Trust. She was deeply invested in the preservation of Lamentation Mountain. In fact upon her passing, she donated 41 acres to the Berlin Land Trust along the northern end of Lamentation Mountain. This new acquisition provides a unique opportunity to honor her commitment to land conservation and fulfill her desire to further preserve Lamentation Mountain for generations to come- a fitting tribute to a life well-lived.
The Berlin Land Trust could always use your help. To join us in our preservation efforts, please contact us at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call (860) 828-4393.