The Birch Rocks Preserve is over 175 acres of permanently protected hardwood forest, streams, wetlands, and 2.5 miles of public trails that wind along the shore of Lake Lillinonah. In 2019 Brookfield Open Space Legacy, Inc. merged with Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy. The merger represented 50 years of conservation planning and partnership, and our adjoining lands became the Birch Rocks Preserve.
At Birch Rocks, the topography hides Lake Lillinonah until you approach the water’s edge. The trail descends close to the lake, but not so close as to disturb an important foraging area for otter, mink, eagles, and osprey. The trail passes by a spruce and white pine plantation, old groves of hemlocks and dogwoods, crosses seasonal brooks, and if you’re heading to or from Ashwood Lane, crosses a steep ravine with very tall mature tulip poplar, oak, and beech trees. The damage from the 2018 macroburst is evident as the trail winds around enormous uprooted and snapped trees. Based on the findings of a 2016 Audubon Connecticut bird survey, at least 34 bird species are supported in the Preserve including woodpeckers, turkeys, and owls. Other wildlife sightings here include coyotes and black bears. As you enjoy the preserve, we ask that you remain on the trails to protect the local flora and fauna.
This property includes five separate land donations and bequests made between 1966 and 1991, primarily from the late Jane and George Pratt. The Pratts also protected several other natural areas and farmlands in Litchfield County during their lifetimes, including Guarding Mountain Preserve in New Milford (Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy’s first land acquisition). We are grateful for the forward-thinking donors who made this legacy of conservation and public recreation possible for us all to enjoy.
Violet C. Watson, 1966 – 11.32 acres
George D. Pratt, Jr., 1967 – 74 acres
Joanna and H.C. Beall Westermann, 1977 – 16.09 acres