A few Saturdays ago, the little girls and I headed out to Sanctuary Woods nature preserve for a short hike. It’s a beautiful spot just off the edge of Lakes Macatawa and Michigan, with a few parking spots, but I’ve never seen the lot full. After parking, there’s a short loop around the lower area, with a few bridges crossing a tiny creek.
About a ten-minute drive from downtown Stonington, the Edgar Tennis Preserve is another beautiful shore area maintained by the Island Heritage Trust. Rachel and I hiked there on a sunny Sunday afternoon, doing both the loops that travel along the water (about 3 miles total of easy hiking, with a few rock scrambles along the way). Similar to the quarry hike, there are few parking spots available, perhaps 7 total. The views throughout the walks are stunning – ocean views, tidal bay views, and mossy forests dotted with ferns.
Worth a second look
On Sunday morning, we took Leah to Settlement Quarry, which is just a short drive from downtown Stonington. We’ve been by the quarry before on our way to various nautical experiences with Bill Baker at Old Quarry Ocean Adventures, but had not hiked through it previously. Part of the Island Heritage Trust, there are scant few parking places at the trailhead. It takes about ten minutes of uphill walking along a two-track trail to reach the top of the quarry, but the scenery while hiking along the trail is gorgeous forest. We also encountered an abandoned furnace near the summit.