Birch Rocks Nature Sanctuary
Obtuse Road North, Brookfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut
101.4 acres


Saw Mill River Parkway north to its end at mile marker 29; get onto US 684 north; drive about 11 miles to mile marker 28 for exit 9E for US 84 west; drive around 10 miles to get off at exit 7 for Route 7 north; get off at Federal Road; turn left at the light and then right at the next light; (there is a Burger King and a McDonalds on the left side);  turn right onto Junction Road (Route 133 east); drive to the intersection with Route 25 (Whisconier Road).  Head diagonally through the intersection to stay on Route 133 east.  

Drive about 1.25 miles to make a left turn onto Obtuse Road North (number 1); drive about 0.5 of a mile heading downhill to a small pull-off area on the left at the end of the guard rail. 


8/10/2005.  Ceferino Santana, dog Sonar and I parked at the small pull-off.  Cefe and the dog stayed in the car while I promised to make a quick check out of the place.  I crossed the road to the guard rail by a ravine.  Then I walked back up part of the hill to enter into the Nature Sanctuary.  There are signs with the rules placed by the Brookfield Open Space Legacy, Inc. 

I did not see any formal trails in the area.  But it is easy to bushwhack through the partial hemlock forest.  There is a ridge set back from the road.  I wanted to get to the top to see if I could see the Housatonic River bordering the property on the north.  With a short walk I was up at the top of the ridge, but the land just seemed to be going downhill with no view.  (Maybe if I had more time to go farther, I might have been able to see the river.) 

After a short visit, I turned around and returned to the car.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney. 

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

* =  plant(s) blooming on date of field trip, 8/10/2005

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Populus grandidentata (big tooth aspen)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)  ---  lots
Ulmus sp. (elm)

Shrubs and Subshrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chimaphila maculata (striped wintergreen)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Ribes sp. (gooseberry)    
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Agrimonia gryposepala (agrimony)     *
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit)
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower)     *
Cryptotaenia canadensis (honewort)
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane)       *
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket)
Lactuca canadensis (wild lettuce)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Medicago lupulina (black medick)     *
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)     *
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)     *
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)      *
Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet)     *
Satureja vulgaris (wild basil)     *
Solidago gigantea (late goldenrod)   
Stellaria pubera (star chickweed)     *
Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot)

Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered type sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Danthonia spicata (poverty grass)
Elymus sp. (wild rye grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Equisetum hyemale (scouring rush)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)


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