The land protected by the Guilford Land Conservation Trust (GLCT) is private land generally open to the public for passive recreation. GLCT founding documents, promulgated in 1965, provide that the protection of these natural lands is solely for “conservational, educational, and scientific purposes.”
As Guilford grows, so too will the public use and enjoyment of GLCT-protected lands. Public enjoyment is a key benefit of protected open space. Increased use may also bring greater negative impacts on fragile areas and place a significant strain on limited volunteer resources to manage and enforce use policies. The land use policies set forth below are intended to clarify, for the general public, interested user groups, and law enforcement, what types of uses are permitted on GLCT properties.
Any unforeseen use not explicitly covered by these policies will be addressed on an as needed basis by the Board of Directors. Exclusion of an activity or use from this document does not imply that it is allowed. In situations where these policies allow for exceptions, the Board of Directors will consider the request, but exceptions will be granted only in writing. The Board of Directors of GLCT may stop or further limit access to a particular property if, in its discretion, that is reasonably necessary to further the goals of GLCT. The policies below apply to all GLCT-owned properties except as otherwise decided by the Board of Directors.
GLCT properties are open to the public from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset.
Camping is not allowed on GLCT properties.
Fires of any kind are prohibited on GLCT properties, except by written permission.
- Off Highway Recreational Vehicles
The use of all-terrain vehicles, motorized bikes of any type, four-wheel drive vehicles, and snowmobiles is strictly prohibited by GLCT.
Use of horses on GLCT land is exclusively limited to those trails GLCT has identified for horse use. Those identified trails are identified on GLCT trail maps. Horse access on a trail within a property does not indicate general permission for horses on the entire property. Trail stewards may close trails to horses when necessary.
- Recreational Trails
a. No trails may be constructed on GLCT properties unless a trail proposal is reviewed and approved in writing by the Board of Directors.
b. GLCT may limit the size of groups using properties if, due to the physical characteristics of the property (soils, slopes, sensitive wildlife, proximity to neighboring landowners), it is determined that use by a large group is inappropriate.
- Mountain Bikes
GLCT allows the use of mountain bikes on dry, marked trails within our lands. The construction of jumps or alteration of the trails or property in any way, and use of mountain bikes off of marked trails, is prohibited. Mountain bikes are prohibited from blue-blazed trails maintained by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association. Some GLCT trails in North Guilford are included in the blue-blazed trail system.
Dogs: The policy of GLCT is that dogs must be on leashes at all times, in order to protect wildlife and minimize disruptions for other property users. GLCT encourages courtesy with regard to other users and the removal of waste in heavily traveled trail systems.
There is no motorized boating allowed on any body of water owned by GLCT. Canoes and kayaks may be used where launching may be accomplished safely and without damage.
There are no public swimming facilities on any body of water accessed by GLCT lands.
- Rock Climbing
Rock climbing is not allowed on GLCT properties.
Hunting generally is not allowed on GLCT properties. Any exceptions to this policy will be made only in writing. Currently the only parcel on which limited hunting is allowed is on Broomstick Ledges. Any permit holders must comply with all state laws.Note: Hunting may be allowed on private property adjacent to GLCT land so be aware of your location during hunting season (September to February). Also, while GLCT manages all of the trails in Westwoods, hunting is allowed on the sections owned by the State of Connecticut.
Fishing consistent with state law is allowed on GLCT properties.
Trapping is not permitted on GLCT properties.
- Fields/Agricultural Lands
GLCT strives to maintain hayfields as such and to adhere to mowing cycles that present the least disturbance to ground nesting birds.
- Geocaches and Letterboxes
Geocaches and letterboxes are permitted on GLCT land. Written permission of the GLCT Board of Directors must be requested to place the letterbox, however, so that the location and contents can be approved.
GLCT requires advanced knowledge of use of its properties for gatherings of organized groups. Permission of the GLCT Board of Directors must be requested for parties of 15 or more. Weddings or other large events are allowed in various locations by permission of the Board of Directors.
- Academic Research
Academic research on GLCT properties is permitted with written approval of the Board of Directors.
- Plants, Wildlife, Mineral, and Historical/Cultural Resource Collecting
The collection of plants, wildlife, minerals, and historical/cultural artifacts from GLCT properties is not allowed without written permission of the Board of Directors. Such collecting is only permitted if it is a necessary part of an academic investigation through an educational institution or research entity and will have minimal impact on the disturbed resource.
No material of any kind, including yard waste, leaves, fallen trees, or Christmas trees, may be dumped, or otherwise introduced onto GLCT lands without written permission from GLCT.
- Crimes including Vandalism and Criminal Trespass
It is the policy of GLCT to prosecute all violations of laws of the State of Connecticut or the Town of Guilford. Any vandalism that comes to our attention is reported to the appropriate law enforcement officials. We cooperate with law enforcement fully. This cooperation may include pressing criminal charges, and/or arranging for compensation or community service in the case of juveniles.
Using GLCT properties involves risks of injuries. Under the Connecticut Recreational Use Statute, GLCT has no liability or responsibility for any injuries sustained while using GLCT properties, including for medical bills. If you use GLCT property, you do so at your own risk, and GLCT makes no representations of any nature about the condition or safety of the use of its properties.