The Hall Preserve consists of 29 acres lying within a bend in the Natchaug River just below the Mansfield Hollow Dam. It is a rear lot with no road frontage, and does not have any trail head, trails, or parking. However, it is open to the public, and there is a fisherman-use trail on the portion of riverfront just below the Mansfield Hollow Dam. To access the preserve, visitors may park by the Windham Airport, walk the Mansfield Hollow Dam, and enter at the far end.
Because this property is so isolated, it shows a high level of ecological integrity. Several shallow wetland swales run north to south, and are likely the remnants of earlier river channels. About half of the forest is dominated by red maple swamp. Some areas of the preserve are dominated by upland hardwood tree species. Patches of hemlock exist, and pine trees appear throughout. The shrub layer is diverse with several types of viburnam, blueberries, huckleberry, clethra, and spicebush. Wildlife observations on the preserve include woodpeckers and other birds, and signs of deer and turkey. This preserve contains one of the few undisturbed areas of glacial kame terrace along the lower Natchaug River, and as a result, it provides excellent habitat for wood turtles, wood frogs, spotted salamanders, and other residents of the vernal pools within it. In addition to ecological value, protecting this preserve contributes to the protection of the local public water supply.
About the Property
Location: 473R Boston Post Rd, Windham. In bend of Natchaug River starting about 300 ft. below the Mansfield Hollow Dam.
Donor: Bequest of David Hall, in 2013
Acres: 29 acres
Steward: Jim Russell