(Use this page to print out the hike. Click the back button to go back to the webpage - www.berkshirehiking.com)
Bent of the River in Southbury, CT is a chapter of National Audubon Society and a relatively new place opened to the public for hiking. This tract of land was donated by Althea Ward Clarke whose husband, Howard Clarke, purchased it in 1934. The wildlife sanctuary is 650 acres. The land borders the Pomperaug River as it bends and turns, thus the name Bent of the River? The trail system is quite extensive given that the complex is about one square mile. There's quite a diversity of ecosystems here and you can easily explore them all - lazy river walks, open fields, dense woodland, cascading streams, and plenty of vistas with nice views. Near the main parking lot, right off of East Flat Hill Road, there is a large horse farm and a portion of the trial system makes it way up to the farm which affords a nice glimpse of the horses.
Hike up from the visitor's parking lot to the main area to find an old barn that has been converted into the visitor's center and small museum/learning center. It's here where you'll find trail maps and orient yourself to the surroundings and paths to choose from. Sign the guestbook before venturing out. If time allows for it, take a quick walk around the barn which has some interesting historical facts about the property and artifacts from the land. Next to the barn is the Clarke homestead, which is not open to the public but certainly is an interesting piece of history and worth a closer look. Visitors are asked to voluntarily donate $3 for adults and $1 for children (the fees gathered go directly into maintaining the sanctuary). Whether you need a quiet walk in the woods, along a riverbank, fresh-air workout, or to photograph some natural surroundings, Bent of the River is a perfect place for these and other activities. Bent of the River has a wide range of events and activities on going so you may want to call in advance to learn more about this wonderful jewel nestled along the Pomperaug River. 203-264-5098
Directions: To get to Bent of the River take Interstate 84 to Southbury, CT.