The Warren Stone Preserve forms an important part of a local watershed that is dominated by the Cedar Swamp Brook, a feeder to the Little River that feeds into the Shetucket River. To the north of Route 6 in Hampton, this brook rises as a wetland in the Goodwin State Forest, and it widens into a marsh to the south of Route 6 as a result of beaver damming.
From the western edge of the marsh, land slopes upwards to an old wooden road. The two acres between the marsh and the road are covered in an oak over-story and a witch hazel understory. Sweet pepperbush (Clethraalnifolia) and highbush blueberry can be found directly next to the marsh.
The southern portion of the marsh is dominated by phragmites and cattails. The rest of the marsh is clear and deep enough to attract osprey, while the shallow and shrubby edges host great blue heron, wood duck, and belted kingfisher. Black duck and painted turtles have also been spotted around the marsh.
East of the marsh lies a 40-year-old oak-beech forest. A knoll that runs north-south through the middle of the uplands is surrounded by a U-shaped road that boasts a huckleberry understory and sparse oak saplings. Downy woodpecker, red-eyed vireo, and yellow-rumped warbler can be found among the hemlocks that lie between the wooded road and the marsh.
Rocks, large potholes and wet spots along West Fisk Road have limited visitor access to 4 wheel drive vehicles. However, from either end of West Fisk Road at Route 6, it is an easy walk in to the preserve. You will see a sign marking the preserve and there is a U-shaped path from West Fisk Road of about a half mile length through the property. There is also a short spur path marked to view the dam.
About the Property
Location: North of West Fisk Rd., off of Route 6, Hampton
Donor: The Estate of Warren Stone
Acres: 19 acres
Stewards: David and Susan Fowler