Schenk's Island Park
Wilton, Fairfield County, Connecticut
17.4 acres

Located south of Wilton Center and along the Norwalk River.


Directions:

Sprain Brook Parkway north to US 287 east; get off for the exit for the Merritt Parkway; get off at exit 39 for Route 7 north; at the end of the parkway extension, turn right at the light; turn left onto US 7 north; turn left onto Wolfpit Road; turn right onto Horseshoe Road; turn right onto Old Ridgefield Road. Cross over the bridge and bear right into the parking area on the right. 


public footpath with a footbridge.

picnicking


Trails:

The Wilton Olmstead Hill Road to Wolfpit Road Trail (2.7 miles):

Parking Directions:
There is parking at the northern section at both Allenís Meadow and Merwin Meadows. Allenís Meadows parking is off of Route 7 (Danbury Road).
There is parking at Merwin Meadows is off Ridgefield Road.
Parking for the southern section is available at Horseshoe Park.

northern end:
Allens Meadows (which has 2 multi-purpose playing fields and community gardens);
runs adjacent to Wilton High School and the athletic complex;
goes along a woodland trail;
Merwin Meadows (with a swimming pond and bathhouse, picnic area, playground, and soccer field);
a wooden bridge for pedestrian and bike traffic;
the town center;
follows sidewalks along River Road through town center;
south of town center there is access to Schenckís Island (a park with walking trails that follow the Norwalk River's banks);
just south of Schenckís Island, the 82-acre Bradley Park is accessed from River Road on its west side;
down River Road, the trail ends at the north end of Horseshoe Park;
Horseshoe Park connects to Wolfpit Road.
Southern end.

Source:  http://www.ct.gov/dot/LIB/dot/documents/dbikes/118.pdf


9/09/2005.  On a beautiful early morning day, Ceferino Santana, dog Sonar and I investigated Schenck's Island. There is a kiosk by the parking area that has a map of the trails.  The trails are pretty straight forward, forming a rectangle so it's south, east, north, and west back to the parking area. There are some side trails back and forth to the Norwalk River on the western side of the park.  The railroad tracks run on the eastern side of the property. 

We walked along the river on rough, informal trails.  The water level was very low, which makes sense given the drought of rain we have experienced for quite a while now.  Leaving the river we started investigating the large fields in the park.  Of particular interest were the cup plants which I don't recall seeing in New York or New Jersey (except at the New York Botanical Garden).

We could have kept going for a ways into the more woody part of the park, but we decided not to. We had been bothered a great deal by mosquitoes and were a little anxious to leave the park.

We traveled east over to near the railroad tracks and turn left to head parallel with the tracks.  We thought we were on a trail because there was a wood shavings path that went for some distance parallel to the tracks.  But this path ended at big stacks of the wood shavings.  Had to walk across the field to pick up the regular path heading north back to the parking area. Returned to the parking lot and the car.   Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.   


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

*  =  plants blooming on field trip, 9/09/2005


Trees:
Acer platanoides (Norway spruce)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush) planted
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juglans nigra (black walnut)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Picea sp. (pungens?) (spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus sp. (crab apple)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix sp. (willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Rubus sp. (dewberry)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)

Vines:
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Clematis virginiana (virgin's bower)
Cuscuta sp. (dodder)     *
Dioscorea villosa (wild yam root)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Polygonum scandens (climbing false bindweed)
Sicyos angulatus (one-seeded cucumber)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Herbs:
Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)     *
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)     *
Aster novae-angliae (New England aster)     *
Aster spp. (aster)     *
Bidens connata (swamp beggar tick)     *
Bidens frondosa (beggar tick)     *
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)  
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Cryptotaenia canadensis (honewort)
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed) 
Eupatorium fistulosum (trumpetweed)     *waning
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset)     *
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot) 
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Helianthus tuberosus (Jerusalem artichoke)     *
Hesperis matronalis (dame's rocket)     *
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)     *
Iris sp. (blue or yellow flag)
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)     *
Mollugo verticillata (carpetweed)     *
Monarda didyma (Oswego Tea)     *waning
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)     *
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)     *
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
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)     *
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil)
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan)   
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Scrophularia marilandica (Maryland figwort)    *
Silphium perfoliatum (cup plant)     *
Solidago canadensis var. scabra (tall goldenrod)     *
Solidago rugosa (rough-leaved goldenrod)
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Trifolium repens (white clover)     *
Urtica dioica var. dioica (stinging nettle)   
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain)   
Vernonia noveboracensis (New York ironweed)    *

Rushes:
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Sedges:
Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered type sedge)
Carex sp. (sedge)
Cyperus strigosus (umbrella sedge)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark green bulrush)

Grasses:
Andropogon gerardii (turkey claw)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Digitaria sp. (crab grass)
Echinochloa sp. (barnyard grass)
Elymus sp. (wild rye grass)
Eragrostis spectabilis (purple love grass)
Leersia oryzoides (rice cut grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum capillare (old witch grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Ferns:
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)

 

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