The Helen Altschul preserve, at 164 acres, is the Stamford Land
Conservation Trust’s crown jewel and largest preserve.
The SLCT acquired the properties in 2010 from The Nature
Conservancy, which in turn received the properties from the
Altschul family in 1977. Consisting of two separate parcels,
this gorgeous sanctuary preserves woodland, meadow, two
ponds, wetlands and portions of the East branch of the Mianus River.
It includes sloping topography with ridges and plentiful bedrock
outcroppings, as well as the hallmarks of its glacial history. There are ruins of prior structures, such as buildings and mills from its days as a farm, as well as the stone walls endemic to New England. It even includes a dam and bridge, both of which offer stunning views.
Together with adjacent parcels maintained as open space, the combined contiguous area approaches 220 acres. This spacious and abundant habitat supports a variety of woodland inhabitants, many of which need the space as a refuge from human interaction. These include migratory songbirds and waterfowl, as well as year-round residents such as white tailed deer, coyotes, red and grey fox, raccoons, frogs, turtles, salamanders and snakes.
This is one of a few SLCT preserves with trails. Consistent with the SLCT mission of preserving the open space for the benefit of the public and preserving its unique environmental benefits, limited public access is allowed on the trails only (shown in blue on the map) for hiking, photography, horseback riding and scientific research. The use of fire and motorized vehicles, as well as the removal of plants and animals, is prohibited.
The larger, 149-acre parcel can be accessed through trailheads at the end of Mill Stream Road (see the photo TK), in the 200 block of Dundee Road and through separate entrances on Riverbank Road (one through the adjacent Scarborough Preserve) as shown on the map.
The remainder of the Helen Altschul Preserve consists of a 15-acre wooded parcel on June Road near Guinea Road. This parcel consists of rugged terrain, a pond and wetlands. There is no trail system and this parcel is closed to the public. Consistent with its heritage, the Greenwich Riding and Trail Association has an agreement with the SLCT to use the trails and to assist with preserve management.