New Fairfield Land Trust: Sweetcake Mountain Preserve
Wood Creek Road, New Fairfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut
21 Woodcreek Road 37.8 Acres
44 Woodcreek Road .3 Acres
51 Woodcreek Road 2.8 Acres
US 84 west; get off at exit 6; turn right onto Route 37 north; drive about 2.9 miles (passing the Federal Correctional Institution of Danbury) to make a right tyurn onto Bear Mountain Road. Drive 1.8 miles (passing by the Bear Mountain Reservation) to a T-intersection. Turn right onto Wood Creek Road. Drive 0.1 of a mile. Park at the small parking area on the left located next to a house with a private property sign. Bear left onto the trail and head uphill.
Charles and Dorothea Fox were illustrators and commercial artists. The donation was made by Charles Jr., Robert, Rebecca and Catlin Fox as a lasting tribute to their parents and out of a love for the land that they grew up on.
1940 – Charles and Dorothea were married and bought a ramshackle farmhouse in New Fairfield. The property had a brook and pond in front with a mountain in back. There was also a large shorefront on a Candlewood Lake cove.
Soon after the move to Connecticut, Dorothea illustrated a new baby book by Dr. Benjamin Spock. Dorothea later wrote a children’s book, Miss Twiggley’s Tree followed by Follow Me The Leader.
1996 -- Charles Fox died.
1999 -- Dorothea Fox died.
5/15/2001 -- this mountainside property behind the old farmhouse was donated by the Fox family as a means to preserve the land in its natural state in perpetuity.
These lands are collectively known as The Sweetcake Mountain Preserve. Sweetcake Mountain represents the first NFLT property open to public access.
deciduous forest, dense mountain laurel understory, hemlock stands and rock outcroppings like the "Comer' offering spectacular views of Candlewood Lake.
bird watching, hiking, photography, picnicking
There are almost 2 miles of trails built by Eagle Scout Brian Stoddard and friends.
The trail winds through the forest passing "Fox Family Memorial". This outcrop of bedrock has been inscribed by the Fox Children honoring their parents Charles and Dorothea Fox, long time residents of New Fairfield.
Follow the white trail uphill for less than 15 minutes to a great view of Candlewood Lake. Continue north on the white trail to enter a wooded area filled with mountain laurels. A 2-3 minute walk along the white trail brings the hiker to a big boulder on the right inscribed Sweetcake Mountain Preserve in memory of Charles and Dorothea Fox. Continue around this short loop of white trail which returns to the view of Candlewood Lake. http://www.letterboxing.org/BoxView.asp?boxnum=4281&boxname=Fox_View_Letterbox
7/18/2005. On a miserably hot and humid day, Cefe Santana, dog Sonar and I started up the mountain on the white blazed trail. It is a fairly short walk up to the viewing area, but given the heat and humidity of the day we had to walk rather slowly. From the viewing point, one can see the southern end of Candlewood Isle along with two little islands. One can also see the mountain tops set around Candlewood Lake.
The vegetation is typical mountain ridge with fewer species than the wetter habitats.
We walked along the top of the mountain for a short ways and then had a choice of continuing straight along the cliffside or turning left. We turned left and in a short walk we reached a monument to the Fox parents from their children. We then headed downhill.for a short ways. We turned right to head north again. This part of the trail makes a loop back to the cliffside and heads south back to the viewing point. We took another look at the view (obscured a bit by the haze) and then walked downhill back to the parking area. Noted some more plant species around the parking area.
There are longer walks possible, but given the heat we were not interested. Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.
New Fairfield Land Trust Properties: www.nflandtrust.org/Properties.htm
Rebecca Fox Rice. Charles and Dorothea Warren Fox. http://www.americanartarchives.com/fox.htm
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = plants blooming on date of field trip, 7/18/2005.
Acer pensylvanicum (striped maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinoides (chinquapin oak) planted
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus sp. (elm)
Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen) *
Corylus sp. (hazel)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) lots
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus flagellaris (northern dewberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Spiraea japonica (Japanese spiraea) *
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax glauca (sawbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) *
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster spp. (asters)
Centaurea sp. (hybrid knapweed) *
Chelidonium majus (celandine) *
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade) *
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower) *
Conyza canadensis (horseweed)
Cypripedium acaule (pink lady slipper)
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) *
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily) *
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket)
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Oxalis sp. (yellow sweet clover) *
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Polygonatum pubescens (true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) *
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Silene latifolia (white campion) *
Trifolium pratense (red clover) *
Trifolium repens (white clover) *
Juncus tenuis (path rush)
Danthonia spicata (poverty grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Panicum sp. (panic grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem grass)
Ferns and Fern Allies:
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Polypodium sp. (rock cap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Sphagnum sp. (sphagnum moss)
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