Mary Conklin Sanctuary Trails

ACREAGE: 167

Explore the trails

Ray Smith Trails

  • Blazes: Red and yellow
  • Duration: 1.5 miles, loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: 144 Indian Hill Rd.
  • Features: Take a peaceful hour to walk both sections of this figure-eight loop. The rolling trail passes through deciduous forest and laurel thickets, skirts old stone walls and a vernal pool, and crosses over a stream. It's beautiful year-round, with the potential for spring views at the southern tip of the figure-eight. Take a break at the poetry boxes and poems along the way.

Tommy Ryan Trail

  • Blazes: Green
  • Duration: 0.5 mile, out and back
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Trailhead: Off the red-blazed Ray Smith Trail
  • Features: Take this steep 15-minute hike down (and back up) a laurel-covered hill, plus an optional easy ford across a stream. Note that the stream crossing is a rock bridge, a few yards upstream from the trail.

Directions & parking

From Route 44, turn onto Indian Hill Road. Follow for approximately 1 mile to the second driveway on the left, just beyond the intersection with Spaulding Road. Enter the driveway and park in the unpaved parking area directly on the right – look for the land trust sign. In Google maps, search for Mary Conklin sanctuary.

The nearby garage and home are leased by the Canton Land Conservation Trust (CLCT) as a private residence, so please respect our tenant's privacy.

History of the property

Mary Conklin donated this beautiful 107-acre tract of woodland and meadow to CLCT in 1996, one of the most significant contributions in our land trust’s history. Conklin was an avid birder, and today, dozens of bluebird boxes hang on posts in the preserve's open fields. The main trail is named in honor and memory of former CLCT president Ray Smith.

The Mary Conklin Sanctuary has been enrolled in the Connecticut Forest Stewardship Incentive Program, and is being managed according to a plan based on a detailed inventory of the forest. It’s also an important wildlife habitat.

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