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 Oven Bird 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.
Location: Old Canterbury Rd. Hampton, CT.
Donors: Lowry, Clara, and Thomas Hemphill
Acreage: west parcel, 9.25 acres. east parcel, 34.5 acres
Preserved in: 2012
Steward: Dennis Latchum
Directions: From the intersection of Routes 198 and 6 in Chaplin, go 4.3 miles east on Route 6. Turn right onto CT-97 S and go 0.1 mile then take a left onto Cemetery Rd. Go 0.3 miles and take a slight right onto S. Bigelow Rd.. Go 0.1 mile then take a left onto Sand Hill Rd. Go 1.2 miles and then continue straight onto Old Canterbury Rd. Follow Old Canterbury Rd. about 0.25 miles. Look for Trust signs on your left and park in the pull of area on the left.