Ames Family Open Space
Evergreen Trail off Boggy Hole Road
Parking available along cul de sac at the end of Evergreen Trail
A variety of trails crisscross the property, including the nearly 2-mile "blue" trail. As you hike a distance on this trail, heading east, enjoy a tranquil view of beaver ponds. As you read on, note how beaver habitats benefit a host of wildlife and improve ecology.
The Open Space Commission created wildlife observation areas on this trail as part of a beavers and birds conservation / education program (PDF).
The Ames Family Open Space also has an interesting history of early occupation. The Old Lyme Conservation Trust's August 2010 Tributaries featured an article on the property. Here is an excerpt: Sheep's Ledge, accessible via the blue trail, was used by Native American Indians for shelter and has been recognized locally as an important historic site for at least two hundred years. According to Dr. John Pfeiffer, Old Lyme Town Historian, it was referred to as the Old Indian Stone House in Lyme town land records of the 1820's, and was the subject of a painting called "Indian Cliff Dwellers" by Edward Rook. Rook, one of the Old Lyme Impressionists, was a contemporary of Harry Hoffman and stayed at the Florence Griswold Boarding House in the early 1900's.
In 1972, Dr. Pfeiffer studied the site under the auspices of the Department of Anthropology of the University of Connecticut. Says Dr. Pfeiffer: "My excavations revealed a site that was occupied seasonally over the last 4255 years. Various aboriginal groups utilized the rock overhang as an interior hunting camp. In such a function, groups of hunters as well as family or extended family units resided within the 'cave' during the winter months and then relocated during the spring and summer to more coastal locations. … Prior to this excavation, it was not known that the prehistory of southeastern New England dated back this far.
Caves found along lower blue trail
Beautiful upper trails.