Old Quarry Nature Center
Main Street, Danbury City, Fairfield County, Connecticut
80 acres

Located just south to Rogers Park.


Saw Mill River Parkway north to its end (at highway mileage marker 29); pick up US 684 heading north;  take the exit for US 84 (about a 10 miles drive); get off at exit 5; get onto Main Street heading south (I didn't come this way, so I'm not sure exactly how to do this); drive a little more than 1.5 miles into Rogers Park (located on both sides of Memorial Drive).  Drive to the end of the park and park alongside a dirt road (Overlook Road) that is only open to foot traffic.    Follow the dirt road to the quarry park. 

Another entrance:

The Old Quarry Nature Center is accessible from Mountainville Road, just beyond the steep curve in the road. At the Old Quarry sign, turn left onto Maple Lane, drive past the gate and enter the grass parking lot on the right. Walk down the main trail to the field house on the right.


Rocks are of the Manhattan formation.  There are some interesting cliffs created by the quarrying.  


The Old Quarry had become a town dump.

1964 – Danbury residents created the Old Quarry.  It took volunteers 3-4 years to clear out the debris from the Old Quarry.

Danbury's tech high school, Henry Abbott Tech, built the field house.


two limestone quarries, woods, fields, wetlands, and a stream.


The field house is open to the public on the second Sunday of the month, 1-3 p. m. House is Open to the Public on the Second Sunday of the Month from 1-3 p.m.


Pawloski Geology Trail  --  This trail, created in 1967 by John Pawlowski, consists of 17 geological points of interest, including the Giant's Chair.

Meserve Ecology Trail – The purple line on the trail map shows 30 noted points of interest along this trail. (A portion of the ecology trail (purple) overlaps the geology trail (yellow). There are plaques with descriptions of the points of interest. The Meserve Trail Guide is available at the Field House.


The top priority is to create the Ives Trail  (previously recommended in the City’s newly adopted Plan of Conservation and Development) by linking Tarrywile Park with Wooster Mountain State Park and the Pierpoint Park in Ridgefield on the west and Rogers Park Pond and Old Quarry Nature Center on the east.

6/09/2005.  The day was hot and muggy.  Dog Sonar and I toured the Ives Trail in Rogers Park and then we walked into the old quarry.  My trail description won't be that good because I took a wrong trail, but here it is: 

There is a dirt road entrance to the old quarry.  Walked down that road past a derelict house on the right and a occupied house on the left.  Come to a kiosk by a swampy area on the right.  Unfortunately, there were no trail maps in the spaces provided on the kiosk board.  The blue trail begins at the kiosk so I started following it, heading south. 

The trail heads through a small field.  I went off trail over to a cliff.  I saw some steps and a small banister heading down to flat land.  (I only learned later that the Old Quarry Nature Center field house was located on that flat land.)   

The trail turns left near the cliff and heads upwards.  I noticed how the vegetation changed over to lots of heath plants, black huckleberry and hillside blueberry.

I was surprised that the blue trail went up to even a higher level.  At the top, I came upon a sign that said to walk back to the chimney and take the lower trail to see scouring rush.  Since I hadn't passed a chimney, I figured I must be doing this walk backwards.  With a little more walking the chimney was reached and I picked up the red trail (the Bridle Trail) that headed downhill. 

Followed the red trail for awhile and then followed a trail that combined three colors (red, white and blue).  Went around a hill in a horse-shoe move.  Going a little farther I reached the OQNC field house.  It was closed up.  I took a water break sitting down on one of he picnic tables.  I was really lost at this time.  I decided I should just head north from the field house.  Heading on my way I realized that the steps and banister I saw out of the corner of my eye were the same stairs and banister I had seen early on in the hike.  So I climbed the stairs, soon got on the entrance way and returned to the car.   Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

*= plant blooming on date of field trip, 6/09/2005

Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Carya sp. (hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Cercis canadensis (red bud) 
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Fraxinus pensylvanica (green ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Taxus sp. (yew)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chimaphila maculata (striped wintergreen)
Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)
Corylus americana (American hazel)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry) 
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) 
Ligustrum sp. (privet)   *
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra) planted
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)  *
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)  *
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet)
Spiraea sp. (spiraea)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (smooth arrowwood viburnum)

Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed) 
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet) 
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) 
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow) 
Agrimony sp. (agrimony)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)  *
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Antennaria plantaginifolia (plantain-leaved pussytoes)
Aquilegia canadensis (columbine)   *
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit) 
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed)   *
Chelidonium majus (celandine)   *
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy)   *
Epipactis helleborine (helleborine orchid)
Fragaria vesca (woods strawberry)   *
Galium aparine (cleavers)  *
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)   *
Hesperis matronalis (dames rocket)  *
Hieracium venosum (rattlesnake hawkweed)   *
Impatiens sp. (jewelweed)
Lespedeza sp. (bush clover)
Narcissus sp. (daffodil)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)  *
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)   *
Podophyllum peltatum (may apple)
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy true Solomon's seal) 
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil)   *
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup)   *
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Senecio aureus (golden ragwort)   *
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)  *
Thalictrum dioicum (early meadowrue)
Tragopogon dubius (fistulous goats beard)   *
Trifolium pratense (red clover)   *
Trifolium repens (white clover)   *
Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)   *
Viola sp. (violet)

Luzula multiflora (wood rush)

Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered sedge type)
Carex ovales type (ovales type sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)

Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)

Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Equisetum hyemale (scouring rush)
Asplenium trichomanes (maidenhair spleenwort)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Matteuccia struthiopteris (ostrich fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)


Back to the w. Connecticut Page
Back to the Main Page