7 Riverview Drive – east side of Rte. 156. Look for the mailbox with #79, and turn onto private road. The trail head is over the rise, on the right.
Parking – 3-4 cars alongside of road
Moderate to Challenging – steep hills, river views
This beautiful preserve is part of the long ledge that separates the Lieutenant and Connecticut Rivers. Views west from the top of the ridge overlook Long Island Sound and the mouth of the Connecticut River. To the east there are two trails that overlook the widest part of the Lieutenant River, one high route (Green trail) and the other (Blue trail) along the river. The lower Blue trail leads to a bench at the north end of the property and connects to the white trail that returns up to the trail head.
Portions of the White trail are challenging, with some strenuous short steep sections up and down to the Lieutenant River.
These 46 acres were donated jointly by John Lohmann, the Twining Family Trust, and Emay Buck in 2004.
Preservation of the property began over 40 years before it was donated to the Trust. The story is that John Lohmann, a founder of the Old Lyme Land Trust, literally stopped the bulldozers in their tracks when a developer started to cut an access road into the forest. In order to protect it, Lohmann, along with Kinsley “Bud” Twining, an early officer and trustee of the Trust, and Bud’s sister, Emay Buck, purchased the property. In his father's later years, Alex Twining, Bud’s son, worked with Essex attorney Campbell Hudson to carry out his father’s and Lohmann’s dream, which was the permanent preservation of the land.
The donation was structured to give a conservation easement to The Nature Conservancy. At the time of the donation, Nathan Frohling, the Geoffrey C. Hughes director of The Nature Conservancy’s Lower Connecticut River Program, had this to say: "This is a beautiful and environmentally pivotal piece of land in a priority area for us, so we are just thrilled...This is the result of local activists with real conservation vision, and we are very pleased to work with the Old Lyme Conservation Trust to protect this land.” The land is less than half a mile south of 56 acres that The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Srvice purchased from the family of renowned ornithologist Roger Tory Peterson in 2002. While the Peterson tract does not have public trails, it does add wonderful vistas and an extra buffer of open space.
Lieutenant River view from bench at end of the Blue trail
View of Lieutenant River from the Green trail