Friedman Forest
photo courtesy of Richard Hyde

In accordance with the will of Abraham R. Friedman, his executor, Myron Friedman, conveyed this 143 acre property to Joshua’s Trust in September of 1987. The deed states that the land shall be held as a nature and wildlife preserve, that it shall be open to the public for walking, hiking and observing, but that there shall be no timbering, camping, hunting, fishing, motor vehicles, roads or buildings. The Trust is pleased to honor these conditions.

Abraham R. Friedman and his brother, Samuel H. Friedman were lawyers who worked in Hartford, and they loved their land in Ashford and wished to see it preserved. The forest is primarily oak-hickory, and a lumbering operation was conducted about 25 years ago prior to preservation. The terms of the Friedman gift to our land trust specify no timbering, so the entire property will slowly revert to untouched forest. Perennial Bebbington Brook runs from north to south through the western third of the property and the drainage wetlands feed into it.

As you enter the preserve you will pass a low, shrubby wetland to your left, the home of very vocal spring peepers. The main trail goes straight, crosses Bebbington Brook (pictured above), then shortly splits and becomes a loop or “lollipop” trail. The total distance of the walk is 1.78 miles. During this pleasant walk one passes a large beaver pond and marsh (just outside our boundary line), a 12 foot circumference white oak, extensive groundcover of Prince’s Pine, Lycopodium obscurum, and numerous stone walls. The Hyde Loop Trail provides an alternative path to about half of the main “lollipop” trail, and passes interesting ruins of a stone dam on Bebbington Brook.

Halfway up the loop trail you can head off onto the Pinkham Trail if you like. This trail runs through an easement granted by Margaret and Arthur Pinkham and eventually ends on the dirt Colts Pond Road. Either return back the same way, or a longer walk may be had by taking a right and following Colts Pond Road, taking another right to follow Bebbington Lane back to Bebbington Road where another right turn and short walk will return you to the parking area.

Friedman Forest is in an area of many preserved parcels, including the Trust’s Hasting Memorial Forest off nearby Bicknell Road, which protects more of the watershed of Bebbington Brook.

More on Friedman Forest:
Nov 3, 2010, in the Hartford Courant:

“When Abraham R. Friedman died, he had a simple request for the 143 acres in Ashford he owned with his brother Samuel: the land should be a nature and wildlife preserve. The rules? Walk, hike and observe the natural world. No hunting, logging, fishing or camping.”

About the Property

Location: Ashford, Connecticut.
Donors: Abraham R. Friedman and Samuel H. Friedman
Acreage: 143
Preserved: September 1987
Steward: Terry Wakeman

Trail Information

Trail Map: Click here for the trail map. You will need Adobe Acrobat to view or print our trail maps.

Directions: Take Bicknell Road east from Route 89 (1.1 mile east of the Ashford/Mansfield line). Go to the end of Bicknell and turn left onto Bebbington Road. .2 miles on your right is the entrance to the trail. There is parking for 2-3 cars.

Peter Marteka: Friedman Forest Preserve a Wooded Paradise