Dix Property: Roaring Brook Woodlands
Acquired: January 2024
The Northern CT Land Trust (NCLT) has acquired a scenic 54 acre property In Stafford CT. The property is mainly upland forest that abuts a section of Nipmuck State Forest and includes sections of Roaring Brook, a cold water trout stream. The property, located on the north side of the Buckley Highway (Route 190) and bounded on the west by Crooked S Road is less than a mile from the NCLT's 79 acre Nipmuck Woods Preserve. It will be protected as open space and will be open to the public for passive recreation after parking and trails have been established. The NCLT plans to name this new acquisition Roaring Brook Woodlands.
This property was generously donated by the Dix Place, LLC, a family organization.The Dix Place, LLC has retained ownership of approximately 15 acres containing a vacation home and pond that will now be surrounded by protected open space. This transaction has many benefits. It provides the Dix family with the opportunity for a major charitable deduction on federal income taxes, it reduces local property taxes and it ensures their vacation home will be surrounded by protected open space. It contributes to the State's goal and the NCLT’s goal of preserving the natural resources of Connecticut and it will provide additional opportunities for passive recreation to the public.
In the future, when parking facilities and trails have been developed, the NCLT will provide maps of Roaring Brook Woodlands. The NCLT is an all volunteer regional land trust that has protected more than 1,900 acres of open space in the towns of Enfield, Somers, Stafford, East Windsor, Ellington, Vernon and Tolland. We encourage the public to join the organization and participate in the stewardship of our many beautiful properties.
On June 30, 2016 the Northern CT Land Trust completed the purchase of a 118 acre property abutting Culver Pond in Stafford, CT. The property was the home of Culver Modisette, former president of the NCLT. Because it was Culver’s wish that the property be preserved and to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest, his heirs agreed to a bargain sale.
The house on the north end of the pond has been sold separately and several buildings by the dam have been retained by the Modisette family and are not in the land trust purchase. The property acquired by the land trust will be named the Culver Pond Nature Preserve. It consists of upland forest, a section of shoreline on Culver Pond, a network of forest paths, a marsh teeming with wildlife, and a section of Rockadundee Brook.
The upland forest has been a registered tree farm since 1978 and has been selectively logged several times to upgrade the quality of the woodlands. The forest is home to hawks, owls, turkeys, and many species of upland birds and animals. Culver Pond is a beautiful 10 acre lake, formed by a small historic dam that was built in the 1700s to power a sawmill and gristmill. The marsh at the south end of the pond is home to otters, mink, fishers, beavers, and muskrats. Herons nest in the trees of the marsh and seven species of ducks have been seen in the area. Rockadundee Brook is a cold water stream that contains small native brook trout. It flows north from the dam and is headwaters to the Scantic River.
Funding for the purchase of this property was provided by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Cox Family Fund at the Boston Foundation, the Bafflin Foundation, the Fields Pond Foundation, and friends of the NCLT.
We hope you will explore this beautiful addition to the regions open spaces and will pause in silent thanks to the Modisette family that preserved this property for our future enjoyment.
Bob White Farm
The Bob White Farm is the only property on the list that the Land Trust does not own. Instead, it is protected from development with a Conservation Easement held by the Land Trust therefore, public access is not allowed.
This 181 acre property is a mixture of woods and fields and connects to the Land Trust’s Nipmuck Woods through an abutting section of the Nipmuck State Forest.
209 Buckley Hwy. (Rte. 190), Stafford, CT
This 79-acre parcel in Stafford was purchased from the Stafford Fish & Game Club in 2017. The upland forest is near Roaring Brook in Stafford and abuts the Nipmuck State Forest and connects through the forest to the NCLT-protected White Farm. Funds were provided by the CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection Open Space and Watershed Matching Grant program, the Cox Family Fund at the Boston Foundation, The Bafflin Foundation, the Fields Pond Foundation, and friends of the NCLT.
Starting in May 2021 NCLT has created a public access trail system on the property. The Nipmuck Adventure Path is an easy 0.7 mile loop and a good choice for families with small children. There are two very large glacial erratic boulders to explore as well as story boards and two letterbox locations. This trail is marked with white blazes and is best walked in a clockwise direction. The Woodland Trail added in 2022 provides a longer walk starting and ending along the Adventure Path. It is marked with red blazes. Both trails are shown on the linked Nipmuck Woods Trails Map.
The trailhead is located at a large pull-off on rte. 190 approximately 0.7 miles east of the intersection of Rockwell Road.
Katherine Satkowski, of Stafford, CT wanted to ensure that the farmland owned and farmed by three generations of her family on Upper Road would remain undeveloped. She offered to sell the 20 acre pasture at a reduced price to the NCLT to guarantee its protection. The property includes a pond and a section of Furnace Brook. With the help of funding from the Cox Family Fund at the Boston Foundation, we purchased the property in 2013. The pasture is leased to a local farmer as pasture for beef cattle.
The Scott Property is a 2 acre property located on the east bank of the Willimantic River and has no public access.