You’re invited on a guided nature/history walk in the Colebrook Land Conservancy’s 394-acre Phelps Research Area on October 15 from 1 to 3 p.m. The preserve’s large size and diverse habitat of rocky slopes, woodlands, post-agricultural fields, and wetlands provide habitat for birds that prefer undisturbed forest for breeding. Past uses include a forge along Brummagem Brook and lumbering of what was considered the last extensive old-growth forest in Connecticut, in 1911.
You’ll stop at an old sugar house dating from 1865 that was said at the time to have the sweetest sugar because the nearby maple orchard faced north. You’ll also see an historic dwelling foundation and learn about the forge located on the Colebrook-Norfolk town line that operated from 1788 to 1807 and made iron from local ore.
The Phelps Research Area in North Colebrook was preserved by John and Nancy Blum (whose ancestor was an original proprietor of Colebrook) and their neighbor and noted ecologist, Dr. Frank Egler.
Plan on about 2 hours. Bring water and wear walking shoes. Free and open to the public. No dogs. Not suitable for small children.
Directions: Follow Route 183 north through the center of Colebrook. Park along Phelps Flat Road, a right turn about 1.8 miles from the center. Walk across Route 183 to the white gate opposite Phelps Flat Road.