Natural Ridgefield: Hemlock Hills
Ridgefield, CT is known in the Northeast for its glorious trails and open spaces, but many Ridgefield residents have never experienced their beauty. Each month, we hope to introduce you to a different open space so that you can discover and explore these breathtaking spots.
Hemlock Hills: Probably one of the more well-known open spaces; Hemlock Hills is truly magical. This trail system ranges from easy “family friendly” hikes, to more rigorous “serious hiker” treks. Named for the Hemlock forest at the northern part of the refuge, Hemlock Hills is home to a tremendous variety of plant and animal species. The forest floor showcases an impressive array of wildflowers, and vernal pools spring to life right about now.
Personally, I love parking at the Pine Mountain trailhead. Enter (using the yellow trail) and it feels like you have arrived in a Tolkien-esque landscape complete with rocky crags, moss covered boulders, ravines, and magical clear water pools. It’s stunning. It’s no wonder that REI cited Hemlock Hills as one of the top 10 hikes in Connecticut. It’s a must see!
Daniel C. Levine, Ridgefield Conservation Commission
The Ridgefield Conservation Commission was established in 1962 by Town Ordinance and is responsible for looking after the town’s open space, including trail maintenance, posting and protecting. For more information on this and other open spaces/trials, The Ridgefield Walk Book is available at the Conservation Commission office in the Town Hall Annex, and at several other locations in town (including Books on the Common and Squashs). In addition to the Walk Book, detailed maps of some trails can be found at www.ridgefieldct.org/conservation-commission.