Macricostas Preserve
Christian Road, Washington, Litchfield County, Connecticut
368 acres

The Preserve is contiguous to four other previously donated parcels, as well as the pinnacle overlook above Lake Waramaug


Saw Mill River Parkway north to US 684 north; exit 9-E for US 84 east; take exit 7 for Route 7 extension north; in 4 or 5 miles the extension ends; turn right at the light; take Route 7 north; turn right for Route 202; follow Rt. 202 for 9.6 miles to make a left turn onto Christian Road (nor far past the intersection of Routes 202 and 47).  Pass by  house #132 and in a short distance turn right into the parking lot for the Preserve (just before the old red farm house).  Park in the large parking area.  There is a trail map at the kiosk near the parking lot.   


The site is the eastern limit of carbonate (marble) bedrock in this region of the state. Here three bedrock units come together.

The wetlands include the headwaters of Bee Brook, a major tributary of the Shepaug River.


2000 – the 238 "Meeker Swamp" land was purchased in a "bargain sale" from Constantine Macricostas.

It was bought with a combination of funds from the Town of Washington, Connecticut's Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Program, and the Steep Rock Association, via individual contributions.

2001 (July) — the area dedicated as the Macricostas Preserve.

2003 (February) – graduate students from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies presented the results of their six-month study of the preserve.

Bill Fairbairn and Steve Solley are restoring the farm house on Christian Street which is located on the Macricostas Preserve.


meadow, farmland (50 acres), wooded ridge (90 acres), wetlands (98 acres)

Three special Habitats:

1. Talus Slopes

2. Black Gum Ridge Top Hollow   --  An old-growth Black Gum or Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica) stand exists in a large vernal pool area southwest of the Pinnacle. The site may be recommended to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection for inclusion in Connecticut’s Natural Diversity Data Base, a subset of the Natural Heritage Program.

3. Calcareous Wetlands



The information will be used to develop public access trails.

The Yellow Trail heads through a large field area over to a huge corn field; turn left to walk along the corn field; follow the yellow circle through a wet meadow/marsh area, over a bridge crossing Meeker Swamp Brook, and into a swampy area (dominated by trees).  Heading upland the hiker comes to a choice about how to reach the Waramaug Pinnacle (actually in the town of Warren). 

A right turn takes the hiker north in a semi-circle to a out-and-back trail to Waramaug Pinnacle (a distance of 1 mile); keep going straight takes the hiker west and then around a semi-circle to the out-and-back trail to Waramaug Pinnacle (a distance of 1.7 miles).  The two forks of the yellow trail form a circle with a little tail consisting of the out-and-back trail. 

One can return back to the parking lot by the way they went out.  Or one can walk around the huge corn field before coming back to the yellow trail leading away from the cornfield and to the parking lot.

8/17/2005.  On a beautiful morning, Ceferino Santana, dog Sonar and I parked at a gate on the left side of Route 202 heading north.  (It is 0.1 of a mile north of Christian Road.)  We walked to a huge cornfield and then turned right.  We followed the path between the cornfield on our left and woods on our right.  We made a left turn and with a short walk came upon the yellow circle trail markers.  We could have kept going straight by the cornfield or turn right to head over to the marshy/swampy area.  We decided to turn right.  Boardwalks took us to the bridge over Meeker Swamp Brook.  It is a pretty view from the bridge of marsh and wet meadow. 

A short walk brought us to the swamp with more boardwalk.  We then started heading uphill into the uplands.  We came to a choice of a 1 mile trip to Waramaug Pinnacle or a 1.7 mile trip.  We decided to do neither at this time.  We just continued to walk straight, heading downhill a ways to get a few more woods plant species.  We then turned around and walked back to the cornfield.

We continued around the cornfield to a right turn that brought us away from the cornfield and out onto a huge meadow/marsh.  We followed the trail through the meadow and up to the kiosk near the parking lot for the preserve.  The trail map showed us how we had come to the the kiosk. 

We decided to walk back to the car on the roads.  We walked down Christian Road to make a left turn onto Route 202.  A walk of 0.1 of a mile brought us back to the car.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = blooming on 8/17/2005

Acer negundo (ash leaf maple)
Acer pensylvanicum (striped maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Juglans nigra (black walnut)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Populus grandidentata (big tooth aspen)
Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus malus (apple)
Quercus alba (white oak )
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)
Corylus sp. (hazel)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Potentilla fruticosa (shrubby cinquefoil)     *
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Salix sp. (willow)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet)     *
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (smooth arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum lentago (nannyberry viburnum)

Apios americana (groundnut)
Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed)     *
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Clematisvirginiana (virgin's bower)     *
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Polygonum scandens (climbing bindweed)     *
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)
Vitis riparia (riverbank grape)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)   
Agrimonia gryposepala (common agrimony)     *
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Amaranthus sp. (amaranth)     *
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)      *
Ambrosia trifida (giant ragweed)     *
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)     *
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arctium lappa (great burdock)     *
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Bidens connata (swamp tick trefoil)    
Bidens frondosa (beggar tick)
Bidens spp. (beggar tick)
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed)     *
Chelidonium majus (celandine)     *
Chelone alba (white turtlehead)
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Cichorium intybus (chicory)     *
Cicuta bulbifera (bulb-bearing water hemlock)     *
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)     *
Conyza canadensis (horseweed)     *
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)     *
Dipsacus sylvestris (teasel)
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed)     *
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane)     *
Eupatorium maculatum (spotted Joe-Pye weed)     *
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset)     *
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)
Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)
Galium aparine (cleavers)
Galium mollugo (wild madder)     *
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
Geum canadense (white avens)        
Hackelia virginiana (Virginia stickseed)
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket)     *
Hieracium paniculatum (panicle hawkweed)     *
Hieracium sp. (hawkweed)     *
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)     *
Lactuca biennis (tall blue lettuce)     *
Leonurus cardiaca (motherwort)     *
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper)
Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower)     *
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco)     *
Lobelia siphilitica (great  blue lobelia)     *
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil)     *
Lycopus sp. (bugleweed)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)     *
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Melilotus sp. (sweet clover)    
Mentha arvensis (wild mint)     *
Mimulus ringens (monkey flower)     *
Myosotis scorpioides (forget-me-not)     *
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)     *
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)     *
Pastinaca sativa (wild parsnip)
Penthorum sedoides (ditch stonecrop)     *
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)     *
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)     *
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)     *
Polygonum lapathifolium (nodding smartweed)     *
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb)     *
Portulaca oleracea (common purslane)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)     *
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup)     *
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Silene latifolia (white campion)     *
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade)     *
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod)
Solidago canadensis var. canadensis (Canada goldenrod)     *
Solidago canadensis var. scabra (tall goldenrod)     *
Solidago gigantea (late goldenrod)     *
Solidago rugosa (rough-leaved goldenrod)     *
Sparganium sp. (burreed)
Stellaria pubera (star chickweed)     *
Taraxacum erythrospermum (red-seeded dandelion)     *
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)     *
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Trifolium hybridum (alsike clover)     *
Trifolium pratense (red clover)     *
Trifolium repens (white clover)     *
Trillium sp. (trillium)
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Urtica dioica var. procera (tall nettle)     *
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)     *
Verbena hastata (blue vervain)     *
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain)     *waning
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Vicia cracca (cow vetch)     *
Viola spp. (violet)
(coneflower)     *

Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex laxiflora (loose-flowered type sedge)
Carex lurida (sallow sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge)
Cyperus strigosus (umbrella sedge)
Eleocharis sp. (spikerush)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark-green bulrush)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Bromus inermis (smooth brome grass)
Cinna arundinacea (wood reed grass)
Digitaria ischaemum (smooth crab grass)
Echinochloa sp. (barnyard grass)
Elymus hystrix (bottle-brush grass)
Elytrigia repens (quack grass)
Eragrostis pectinacea (Carolina love grass)
Leersia oryzoides (rice-cut grass)
Lolium perenne (perennial rye grass)
Panicum dichotomiflorum (fall panic grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
Phleum pratense (Timothy grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)

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