Westmoor Park Trail LbNA # 15135
|Owner||The Bird Stamper |
|Placed Date||May 2 2005|
|Location||Westmoor Park, West Hartford, CT|
|Found By||The Bird Stamper |
|Last Update||Nov 25 2012 |
Westmoor Park Trail
Location: Westmoor Park, West Hartford, Hartford Co., Connecticut
Planted: 05/02/2005 by Westmoor Park and Birdstamper
Stamps: Carved by the Backtrackers
Adopted: 3/27/2011 by the Bird Stamper
Raccoon box relocated 11/19/2012
Time: 1 hour
Length: 1 mile round trip, 50 foot climb
Easy trail. Box 4 is handicapped accessible; other boxes can be reached from a wheel chair with
some assistance. Box 4 is only accessible during office hours. Please note that the office
building is open daily but only between the hours of 9:00am and 4:00pm and closed for some
Westmoor Park is a town owned park operated by the Leisure Services Department of the Town of
West Hartford. It was donated to the town in 1973 from the estate of Charles and Leila Hunter to
be used as a nature park. The park property consists of 162 acres of field, forest and
wetlands, a demonstration farm, and a nature center building with educational displays. They
are located at 119 Flagg Rd, West Hartford, CT.
From I-84 take exit 41. Turn north (eastbound - left, westbound - right) onto South Main St.
Continue for 3.6 miles to the intersection of Route 44 and North Main St, Bishop’s Corner. Turn
left at the traffic light. At the next light, turn left and then make a quick right to get onto
Flagg Road. Continue 1/2 mile on Flagg Road to the park entrance on the left.
From the parking lot, cross the lawn to the west, away from the barn and farm pasture. Enter
the path to cross the meadow at the North West corner of the herb garden. You'll pass by the
flag pole in the center of the field. This wildflower field was once a lawn, but beginning in
the summer of 2000 the park staff began seeding and managing approximately 13 acres with the
goal to return native grasses and wildflowers to the area. This improved habitat now supports a
greater diversity of wildlife.
At the edge of the hill you will see a cabin. Mr. Hunter built this in the 1940's, as Mrs.
Hunter would not allow him to smoke his pipe in the house. Bear right and follow the trail down
the hill to the gravel path at post number 9. The numbered posts are part of a self guided
nature trail. You can pick up a brochure for this trail from the office.
(For the wheel chair accessible path, leave the parking lot at the lower end and follow the
gravel road/path. Follow it past the cabin and down the hill. Turn right at the trail junction
at post number 2 and follow to post number 9. Now both paths have joined at the same location)
Follow the gravel trail into the woods. Ahead of you is a wooden bridge over the brook. Check
out the beaver dam at the bridge. The beavers built it to make themselves a pond. It there
they will feed and make their lodge for the winter. To the left before the bridge, is a bench.
Sit and rest while you take in the stillness of the woods. Sight at a 150 degree bearing to an
Oak tree just across the gravel path. Behind it is a hollow log. The Raccoon letterbox is
inside. To continue on, follow the gravel path along the brook.
Follow the gravel path along side the brook. The brook widens out in a few places forming ponds
for wildlife. You can often see Wood Ducks, Mallards, and Great Blue Herons here. On warm
sunny days the Painted Turtles come out to sun themselves on rocks and logs. Where the gravel
path turns left away from the pond and into the woods, there is a bench for sitting and
observing. Across the pond is an area of wet meadow and marsh. This is a favorite place for
Red-winged Blackbirds and other wetland wildlife. As you sit on the bench, take notice of the
bird house on an Eastern Hemlock just a short distance into the woods to the south, compass
bearing 194 degrees. Inside you have found the Blue Bird letterbox.
To continue on, follow the gravel trail east into the woods, away from the pond. At the trail
intersection marked by post number 4 turn right. Go on the flat wood chipped path, not the one
that goes uphill. On the right you will pass an open meadow in the woods. The original top
soil from this spot was removed in the 1950's to construct the Bugbee flood control dike that
can be seen a couple hundred yards off to the east, past the Maple swamp. At the south east
corner of the meadow you will find a four-way trail intersection. Continue straight and up a
small incline to the Loop Trail.
This raised area is an esker it was deposited here by a glacier some 15,000 years ago, forming a
long low hill. Follow the trail along the high ground of the esker. As you walk along, take
notice of a large three sister (triple trunked) Red Oak on your left. This tree has re-grown
from stump sprouts, evidence of the forest cutting activity practiced in Connecticut some 100
years ago. Further along, near the end, the trail forks to form the "Loop". Bear left at the
fork. You will see a 16 inch diameter tree to the left of the trail. It is the largest tree in
the area, and has a sitting stump by it. Sit on the stump and take a compass reading of 115
degrees. About eight paces (one pace is two steps) away you will find a tree with a hollow in
the base. Here is the Oak Leaf letterbox.
From here return to the gravel trail at post number 4 and turn right. Follow the gravel trail to
the East back up the hill, past the cabin and to the dirt road back to the parking lot. Cross
the parking lot and follow the sidewalk up to the main building marked "OFFICE". Once inside
there are displays and information on the park's educational programs. Follow the hall to the
left into the greenhouse. Under the plant bench to the left, behind the door, is a small shelf
with the Orchid letterbox on it
I hope you enjoyed your visit to Westmoor Park. Please come again.
Special permission for this letterbox was granted by the manager of this preserve. Others
wishing to plant here should contact me and I will find out if permission can be extended.