The Laurel Ledges Natural Area consists of 6 preserves and has trails for hiking.
Town of Patterson – 37.0 Acres.
About the Trail
The trail is steep in the initial ascent and final descent but it is not overwhelming. On the descent, a guide rope is present to make it a bit easier. The trail took about 75 minutes to hike stopping for numerous snacks with three young children (10,8 and 5). Marvelous rock outcroppings and mature trees make this a very nice hike.
From Route 164, turn onto Cornwall Hill Road. Go 0.8 mile and turn right onto Couch Road. Continue 0.4 mile to parking area on the right side of this road. Markers on trees serve as trail guides.
Parking is limited and go slow once you are on Couch Road. Look for the large brown signs with the preserve name on it and parking is just off on the side of the road. The trail goes in a semi-circle, so you start on one side of couch road and end up towards the corner. A small bridge is present on the west side of the road before you get to the street.
Tom’s Path on Couch Road in Patterson was donated by Edie Keasbey. A wooded 5-acre parcel with a stream running through the middle of the property, Jackson’s Brook, this preserve helps protect a biotic corridor that stretches from the Great Swamp to Ice Pond. The brook drains from a rare upland wetland on the Sterling Farm Preserve into Muddy Brook.
Town of Patterson – 18.0 Acres.
The Lushinsky Preserve is part of the Laurel Ledges Natural Area. The parcel is an oddly shaped upside-down “L”. It connects the Turtle Pond and Plunkett Preserves to the Peter Hartford Dunlop and Sterling Farm Preserves.
Town of Patterson 5.6 acres.
The Plunkett Preserve is part of the Laurel Ledges Natural Area. It was a acquired through a bargain sale from Frank & Catherine Plunkett in May of 2007. These purchase funds were provided by the first NAWCA grant awarded to the Friends of the Great Swamp (FrOGS). The preserve is contiguous to the Lushinsky and Turtle Pond Preserves and is a bridge property that was important to protect because it allows wildlife access across Rte 164 to the Brandon Farm Preserve.
Peter Hartford Dunlop Preserve
Town of Patterson – 14 acres.
The Peter Hartford Dunlop Preserve is part of the Laurel Ledges Natural Area. The parcel is an unusual shape with jagged property lines. It connect the Sterling Farm Preserves on Couch Road and the landlocked Lushinsky Preserve to Route 164 – and Brandon Farm Preserve on the other side of the highway.