Devil’s Den Preserve, Fairfield County, Connecticut

This was my second trip to Devil’s Den, so for a better write-up of the park and its history, see my post for the first trip.

We began the hike along the Pent Trail and Saugatuck Trail. I didn’t take detailed notes of where I took each photo, and for the most part they are not so distinctive, anyway.

Here I found a few large rocks with some nice texture:

Rocks, Devil's Den Preserve, Fairfield County, Connecticut

Rocks

The preserve isn’t completely flat, but at most one would say that it has a few hills.

Devil's Den Preserve, Fairfield County, Connecticut

Devil’s Den Preserve

A low stone wall probably attests to farming activity two centuries ago:

Stone wall, Devil's Den Preserve, Fairfield County, Connecticut

Stone wall

There are a number of streams in the park:

Stream, Devil's Den Preserve, Fairfield County, Connecticut

Stream

I didn’t realize it at the time I shot this photograph, but the new leaf at upper left is boring a hole through a dead leaf:

New leaf boring hole through dead leaf, Devil's Den Preserve, Fairfield County, Connecticut

New Leaf Boring Hole through Dead Leaf

Some areas were verdant while others seemed to be slow in welcoming the Spring:

Contrast between brown and green foliage, Devil's Den Preserve, Fairfield County, Connecticut

Contrast between Brown and Green Foliage

Pond:

Pond, Devil's Den Preserve, Fairfield County, Connecticut

Pond

I had intended to take the Ambler Trail clockwise through Ambler Gorge and to Den Trail, but missed the turn onto the Ambler Trail. Here’s another stone wall:

Stone wall, Devil's Den Preserve, Fairfield County, Connecticut

Stone wall

We still got to see Ambler Gorge, but just approached it by going counterclockwise on Ambler Trail from Den Trail:

Ambler Gorge, Devil's Den Preserve, Fairfield County, Connecticut

Ambler Gorge

There were a couple of vistas from the Ambler Trail, looking toward the northwest. Here is one:

View from Ambler Trail Vista, Devil's Den Preserve, Fairfield County, Connecticut

View from Ambler Trail Vista

We then turned onto the Donahue Trail.

My friends at GardenWeb (now Houzz.com) tell me that these beautiful pleated leaves belong to American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana).

Hornbeam Leaves, Devil's Den Preserve, Fairfield County, Connecticut

Hornbeam leaves

This fallen tree would be spooky at night:

Fallen tree, Devil's Den Preserve, Fairfield County, Connecticut

Fallen tree

We returned to the Den Trail and then headed back to the car. (We had a late start for this hike, and also I had clumsily jammed a toe that morning in our apartment, so I was only up for hiking a few miles.) Here’s a closing view:

Devil's Den Preserve, Fairfield County, Connecticut

Devil’s Den Preserve

Devil’s Den doesn’t offer spectacular vistas or steep climbs, but is still a beautiful place to visit.

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