P.O. Box 926, Waterford, CT 06385-0926

Avery Nature Preserve

Address: 563 Mohegan Parkway

Acquired: 1st Parcel acquired 12/31/79, Second parcel 5/11/2001

Size: 64.2 acres


Dr. George Avery and his wife Virginia donated the first parcel known as the Avery Tract in 1979. Dr. Avery was professor emeritus at Connecticut College, and first director of that institution’s Arboretum. The second parcel was purchased from Dr. Avery’s heirs on May 11, 2001. The WLT received an Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grant from the state of Connecticut for $90,000.00. An additional $7,500.00 was donated by the Norcross Wildlife Foundation for the purchase.

Property Highlights

Hiking trails abound at Avery. In 2001, three Waterford High students, Cameron Blevins, Phil Porter and Zack Roberts began building two figure 8 trails. To the east, there is a unique, undeveloped ridge overlooking the Thames River. Vertical ledge outcroppings bearing extensive mats of rock polypody (a fern), dense stands of mountain laurel and magnificent beech trees provide points of special interest. To the SW, rows of dying Fraser and balsam firs are evidence of a Christmas tree farm. In the middle of the preserve is a huge glacial erratic sitting alone in the middle of the forest. The north has a beautiful fern glen in the middle of a stand of mature sassafras, frequented by pileated woodpeckers.

Near the Scotch Cap entrance, the WLT placed tree identification signs on a dozen species.


Scotch Cap Rd., east of Mohegan Parkway (Rt. 32); this is the best access. There’s plenty of parking on the road near the Avery property sign and the staircase that leads into the preserve. A second access is the gravel road on the north boundary of the preserve, known as Hardwick Rd. Extension. Head north on Rt.32, travel .3 mile past the traffic light at Scotch Cap Rd. Hardwick Rd. Ext. starts north of 561 Mohegan Parkway. It is a gravel road that extends to a private home on the Thames River. There is a nature preserve sign at the top of the hill and an unimproved parking lot. 

Deed Restrictions

Foot passage only.


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