Established in 1994, the Kampmeyer Preserve is a composite of five separate acquisitions by the GLCT totaling more than 95 acres. The property is a mixture of rocky steep knolls surrounded by isolated wetlands.
The preserve is named for Preston Kampmeyer, a long-time Guilford resident who loved the town’s natural landscape and was a generous GLTC supporter. Kampmeyer, who died in 1991 at the age of 80, bequeathed his home to the GLCT. The GLCT used a portion of his gift to purchase a 40-acre property from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1993. This parcel makes up the backbone the Kampmeyer Preserve.
Hiking the Kampmeyer Preserve
The Kampmeyer Preserve can be reached by turning onto West Lake Avenue from Route 1 approximately 1.1 mile west of Exit 57 on I-95. Travel north on West Lake Avenue 1.5 miles and turn left onto Laurel Hollow Road. Park at the end in the cul-de-sac. There is a trail entrance sign on the southern side of the cul-de-sac.
The trail, marked with yellow diamonds, highlights the various features of this preserve, including the old trolley bed, extensive wetlands, Notch Hill Brook, some old stone walls and rocky outcrops. The preserve is full of wildflowers in the spring.
The Westwoods trail map, available at Town Hall, Bishop’s Orchards and other locations in Guilford, has a small map covering the Kampmeyer Preserve.The trail is easy to follow with the map and a compass.
Heading from the trailhead, the trail crosses the old trolley bed and a major wetland on logs and boards before coming to an intersection with a large loop trail. Once can travel left or right at this point on the trail and follow the loop around (There is one cross-over trail on the loop, marked with an “X,” that bisects the loop).
Walking the entire trail can take about 90 minutes. Since the wetlands crossing on the boards and logs can be slippery, a walking stick for balance can be helpful. It is also interesting to walk the old trolley bed, which runs almost from West Lake Avenue to the North Branford Town Line.
How to get there
Click on the map marker for directions.