The Guilford Land Conservation Trust (GLCT) took another step toward preserving Totoket Mountain – the ridge that ends at Bluff Head – with the purchase in October of 12 acres in the northwest corner of Guilford, along the top of the ridge. The parcel had been one of GLCT’s highest priorities for years, as it was one of only a few on the basalt ridge that was privately owned. A section of the blue-blazed New England Trail passes over it, heading west from Bluff Head toward North Branford.
The purchase of the property for $40,000 was made possible by the generous support of GLCT members. GLCT is most grateful to the owner for choosing to sell the land for permanent conservation. The land trust began buying land on the mountain in the 1960s, and has now protected more than 700 acres in the area.
In the 1800s, this newly protected parcel was part of a larger 20-acre piece that likely was used as a “woods lot” for firewood. Historically, this part of the mountain was more connected economically to Northford – less than a quarter-mile away – and Wallingford – less than a mile away. This part of the mountain was also owned by brick companies in New Haven, which used trees to make charcoal for brick production. In the early and mid-1900s, much of the adjoining land was bought by the New Haven Water Company for watershed for North Guilford’s Menunkatuck Reservoir. The land just purchased by the GLCT, however, is outside that watershed – it drains to the west, into North Branford and Durham, so the water company had no need for it, and it has always been privately owned. This parcel, at top of the ridge, is mostly flat, wooded uplands. A corner of the property holds part of a very productive wetland that is filled with frog and salamander eggs in the spring.
Please click here to help contribute to the cost of this acquisition so GLCT is poised and ready for the next opportunity. Thank you for your generous support!