General Description: Loop #6 is the Westwoods Nature Trail. There are 40 numbered stations along the trail. An interpretive Nature Trail Guide can be purchased for $5.00 at Breakwater Books on the Green in Guilford. The Nature Trail Guide is full of interesting details and artistic drawings of the history, flora and fauna of the region. It has something for all ages and is highly recommended for your hike. All money collected from the sales of Westwoods maps and Nature Trail Guides is used for trail maintenance expenses.
Difficulty: A very easy hike.
Weather considerations: Lower areas often have wet conditions.
Distance: 2.03 miles
Duration: 45-60 minutes
Sights: Old stone walls, a colonial road, remnants of the Great Hemlock tree and a glacial kettle. The recommended Westwoods Nature Trail Guide lists many more features with interesting facts and details.
Hiking Narrative: The loop begins at entrance #1. Park at the lower parking lot on Dunk Rock Road.
- Begin on the Green Triangle trail located on the right side of the parking lot. You’ll follow along a creek that feeds Bishop’s Pond.
- Green Rectangle momentarily joins with Green Triangle. Stay left on Green Triangle as Green Rectangle goes right.
- Green Triangle rejoins Green Rectangle. You are now on an old colonial road known as Old Marsh Road. Note the old stone walls following along the road.
- At site station #14, Green Circle trail crosses the Green Triangle trail. Continue on Green Triangle as it turns left. You have hiked ½ mile.
- Green Triangle follows along the bottom of the ridge in the valley.
- Green Triangle crosses a bridge.
- At station #20 you will cross another bridge.
- At station #21 (number is located on a big rock) you’ll see the remains of the Great Hemlock tree up on your left. It had a diameter of 46 inches and was over 125 feet tall before it succumbed to the Wooly Adelgid bug in the 1990’s. The ridge provided a protected environment for the Hemlock. Perhaps another Great Hemlock will emerge in the future.
- After station #25, Green Triangle merges with Blue Rectangle trail and both trails turn left.
- At the top of the hill Green Triangle turns left.
- Green Triangle continues straight along the top of the ridge. Note that there are optional small hiking loops on your left that bring you very close to the edge of the ridge. Please USE CAUTION on these hiking loops. There is no guard rail.
- Green Triangle makes a u-turn curving to your right.
- Note a depression in the ground to your left at station #37. This is a glacial kettle formed when a large block of glacial ice melted.
- Green Triangle joins with Blue Rectangle trail.
- Turn left on Blue Rectangle trail and follow it to Dunk Rock Road.
- Walk down the hill on Dunk Rock Road to the lower parking lot.