The Earthplace wildlife sanctuary comprises 62 acres of privately-held land that is the largest open-space area in Westport. Adjacent to this land are 11.8 acres of land owned by the Town of Westport. This property was once a farm and there is still abundant evidence of agricultural use with stone walls, open fields, and old wagon roads through the woods. Please note that dogs are not permitted on the trails.
The Swamp Loop Trail (30 minutes) is the best for viewing spring and summer wildflowers. The trail winds past a swamp, a freshwater stream, a pond and deciduous woodlands. Hunt for letterboxes along the trail.
The Universal Design Nature Trail is designed to be fully accessible for individuals in wheelchairs or who use walkers. The trail winds through an open meadow where native grasses and abundant birdlife can be found. The surface of the trail is composed of T-Naps, a hard-scape material made from natural and recycled products, and a section composed of crushed bluestone.
The High Woods Trail (20 minutes) travels through open fields and mixed hardwood forests. Watch for birds and mammals along the edge of the field. This is the best trail for fall hawk watching.
The Newman-Woodward Trail (20 minutes) winds through an oak and beech forest with high leaf canopy and silvery trunks. Stonewalls and cedar stumps dot the forest, remnants of the days when this was a farm field.
The Eloise A. Ray Trail (20 minutes) was once an old farmstead, but this piece of town property has been reclaimed by locust trees and shrubs. The ample fruits and cover of the shrubs make it a good trail for bird watching.
The Wadsworth Trail (15 minutes) follows the rim of a wetland depressions. The standing water is host to many amphibians in the spring. This is a good trail for ferns and some wildflowers.
Open Space Conservation
Partrick Wetlands - 22.14 acres of wetlands located on Partrick Road in Westport
Winter on the Partrick Wetlands and Poplar Plains Brook
photo by Matthew Mandell
Maple Lane, near Burying Hill Beach - 1 acre
Wright Street - 1 acre conservation easement
Marsh Road in Saugatuck Shores - 1/2 acre tidal wetland