Sherwood Island State Park
Westport, Fairfield County, Connecticut
234 acres

Source: Keyarts, #3


Directions:

From Exit 18 of the Connecticut Turnpike (Route US-95) in Westport, turn south onto the Sherwood Island Connector and drive 0.6 of a mile to the park gatehouse, park in the designated area.


Geology:

Sandy beach bounded on the south by Long Island Sound.


History:

This park was established in 1914. It was the first state park in the state and named in honor of the Sherwood family (early settlers from Englandís Sherwood Forest).


Facilities:

There is a small nature center with exhibits on the marine environment, among others. There is a self-guided interpretive nature trail that is one-half mile long.


Habitats:

sandy beach, marsh


Trails:

There is a Westwood Nature Trail on the 1.25 mile long beach.

There is a loop  nature trail in the east part of the park, closest to the East Parking Lot.  It heads along the salt marsh with its Phragmites australis (giant reed grass) hedge and then loops back on higher ground. 


10/01/2005.  On a beautiful day, Rosemary Cooney, Ceferino Santana, Sarah-David Rosenbaum, dog Sonar and I explored the beach, woods, and salt marsh of Sherwood Island.  We parked near East Beach and then explored the beach area heading west.  We walked out onto some of the rock "piers."  At West Beach we headed along the wood's edge there and some of the woods.  We then crossed the main lawns back to our car.  We ate lunch there at a nearby picnic table.

After lunch we took the Nature Trail.  We walked to the East parking lot and walked toward the salt marsh.  At the Phragmites hedge we turned right and walked along the hedge.  In a couple of places they have an opening in the hedge and one can get a look at the salt marsh.  Before the trail loops back it goes along a small piece of woods with a lot of gray birch. 

Made the small loop that took us back to the parking lot. 

The Park is very pretty and well-maintained.  This day they had a walk for cyclic vomiting syndrome.  They had the music blaring, but I did not mind it since they played some pretty good tunes.  People and some dogs walked around the main building to raise fund.  Also there was a group of model airplane flyers and a couple of kite flying enthusiasts.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney. 


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney and Sarah-David Rosenbaum

*  =  plants blooming on field trip, 10/01/2005


Trees:
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple)    planted
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Castanea mollissima (Chinese chestnut)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fraxinus pensylvanica (green ash)   planted
Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)    planted
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus sp. (pine, 2 needled)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Populus balsamifera (balsam poplar)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix alba var. (weeping willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tilia sp. (linden)  planted

Shrubs:
Baccharis halimifolia (groundsel bush)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Iva frutescens (marsh elder)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rosa rugosa (wrinkled rose)     * one flower in bloom
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix spp. (willow)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)

Vines:
Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelainberry)
Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed)     *
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Lathyrus maritimus (beach pea) 
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Polygonum scandens (climbing false bindweed)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape)

Herbs:
Acalypha sp. (three-seeded mercury)
Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Amaranthus sp. (amaranth)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)   
Apocynum sp. (dogbane)
Arctium lappa (great burdock)
Arctium minus (common burdock)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster tenuifolius (perennial salt marsh aster)     *
Aster spp. (small white aster)     *
Atriplex patula (orach)
Bidens connata (swamp beggar ticks)
Cakile edentula (sea rocket)     *
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed)     *
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Chenopodium ambrosioides (Mexican tea)
Cichorium intybus (chicory)     *
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)  
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)       *
Conyza canadensis (horseweed)
Coronilla varia (crown vetch)     *
Cycloloma atriplicifolium (winged pigweed)
Datura stramonium (jimsonweed)     *
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)     *
Epilobium sp. (willowherb)
Euphorbia maculata (spotted spurge)
Euphorbia nutans (eyebane spurge)
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)
Galium sp. (bed straw)
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (sweet everlasting)     *
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)     * a couple of blooms
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper)
Limonium carolinianum (sea lavender)     *
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs)     *
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil)     *
Medicago lupulina (black medick)     *
Melilotus sp. (sweet clover)
Mollugo verticillata (carpetweed)    
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)     *
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)     *  
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)    
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)     *
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)     *
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)     * waning
Polygonum hydropiper (water pepper)     *
Polygonum lapathifolium (nodding smartweed)     *
Polygonum sp. (smartweed)     *
Portulaca oleracea (common purslane)     *
Potentilla argentea (silvery cinquefoil)     *
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)     * waning
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Salicornia europaea (slender glasswort)
Salsola kali (common saltwort)
Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet)     *
Silene latifolia (white campion)     *
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion)     *
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade)  
Solanum nigrum (black nightshade)     *
Solidago canadensis var. canadensis (Canada goldenrod)     *
Solidago rugosa (rough-leaved goldenrod)     *
Solidago sempervirens (salt marsh goldenrod)
Suaeda linearis (tall sea blite) 
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)     *
Tridens pratense (red clover)    *
Trifolium pratense (red clover)     *
Trifolium repens (white clover)    
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Urtica dioica var. procera (tall nettle)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain)     *
Vernonia noveboracensis (New York ironweed)
Xanthium strumarium (clotbur)
Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle)

Rushes:
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Sedges:
Cyperus esculentus (nut sedge)
Cyperus filicinus (Nuttall's sedge)
Cyperus strigosus (umbrella sedge)

Grasses:
Ammophila breviligulata (beach grass)
Cenchrus sp. (sandbur)
Digitaria sp. (crab grass)
Distichlis spicata (spike grass
Echinochloa sp. (barnyard grass)
Elytrigia repens (quack grass)
Eragrostis spectabilis (purple love grass)
Panicum virgatum (switch grass)
Paspalum spp. (bead grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reedgrass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)
Spartina alterniflora (salt marsh cordgrass)
Spartina patens (salt meadow cordgrass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

 

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