The Hemphill Preserve rests on both sides of Old Canterbury Road in Hampton. Located in the Burnham Brook drainage basin, the Preserve consists of two parcels that once formed an 18th century farmstead. The original homestead still stands on the east parcel, facing the stone ruins of an outbuilding on the west parcel. The center of the Preserve is dominated by wetland soils.
In the 9.25-acre west parcel, stonewalls are lined by large oaks and Shagbark Hickories with young oaks and hickories covering the interior. A writer’s cabin sits on the north edge near mature Big Tooth Aspen, and the western edge boasts a dense understory of Burning Bush. The shrubby undergrowth and wetlands provide a good shelter for wildlife and a nice migrant trap for birds. There is blazed hiking trail on the east parcel about 1.25 miles in length. Please stay on the trail to prevent trespass on neighbors’ properties.
In the 34.5-acre east parcel, wetland areas are dense with shrubbery home to the Ovenbird and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. This parcel’s outer edges are covered with an oak and hickory forest, while the wetter inner areas contain Yellow Birch and Red Maple. The northeastern part of this parcel is rockier with a number of glacial erratics.
About the Property
Location: Hampton, Connecticut. Old Canterbury Road
Donors: Lowry, Clara, and Thomas Hemphill
Acreage: east parcel 34.5, west parcel, 9.25
Preserved in: 2012
Steward: Chris Crawford