Hike the Watershed

Norwalk River Watershed Association
A National Trails Day hike at Weir Farm National Park co-sponsored by NRWA.
Merwin Meadows, Wilton
The Wilton Town Forest in early winter.
NRWA volunteers cleaning up a section of the Norwalk River Valley Trail near Union Park, Norwalk
Kayakers at Calf Pasture, Norwalk
From its headwaters in Ridgefield’s Great Swamp, the Norwalk River runs south, parallel to Route 7. It flows behind the businesses that line Route 7, by houses, open space and more development, to the City of Norwalk where it meets Long Island Sound. Hikers can enjoy four seasons of great beauty and a wide variety of habitats exploring the open space of Norwalk River’s watershed, with its New England forested uplands and wetlands to its tidal marshes where the River meets the Sound.

Following the Norwalk River and heading south, this is a list of some the most popular trails:
Topstone Preserve and Park, Redding

  • A favorite hiking destination with unparalleled views of the Norwalk River Valley and the adjoining Saugatuck watershed

Woodcock Nature Center, Wilton/ Ridgefield

  • Well groomed trails, boardwalks across wetlands and beech, oak, and maple forest
  • Educational programs and an interpretive exhibition center
  • Botany walks, birding, geology lectures
  • rescued birds including owls and hawks on site

Weir Farm National Historical Site, Wilton/Ridgefield (Weir Farm National Historic Site, U.S. National Park Service)

  • Well groomed trails lead through open wildflower meadows, across rock ledges, past ponds and swamps and through thick stands of mountain laurel
  • The southern limit for the striped maple tree, recognizable by its striped green bark
  • The only national park in CT
  • The former home of noted American Impressionist painter J. Allen Weir

Quarry Head State Park, Wilton

  • Dramatic rock ledges at this historic abandoned quarry
  • Trail network design makes longer or shorter hikes available
  • View of Long Island Sound on clear days
  • Picnic table, picturesque remaining foundation of old house on site

Allens Meadow, Wilton

  • Birding hot spot
  • Playing fields, community gardens, cross-country running and walking trails at edge of fields
  • Site of NRWA tree planting with America the Beautiful grant.

Merwin Meadows, Wilton

  • Swimming pond with life guard in summer
  • Picnic pavilion, running and walking trails, fishing in the Norwalk River
  • Site of NRWA buffer restoration work with bio-swales and rain garden, Spring 2015.

Schenck’s Island, Wilton

  • Native wildflower meadow, easy trails, popular with fishermen, the Norwalk River circles round this floodplain park in downtown Wilton

Bradley Park, Wilton

  • With encroaching development, see at this park why preserving open space is so important
  • Wetlands with boardwalk trails, rock outcrops, oak, beech, maple, tulip tree forest with good understory plants including witch hazel, shad blow, iron wood, viburnums and ferns

See Town of Wilton for more Wilton Park information.
The Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT)

  • A multi-use trail that will eventually run the entire length of the Norwalk River, connecting Long Island Sound to the source of the River in Ridgefield
  • On-going project, under construction
  • Sections now open

Norwalk Heritage Greenway

  • This official CT greenway links a number of attractions in Norwalk including the Maritime Center and the Lockwood-Matthews Museum

Calf Pasture Beach Park, Norwalk

  • Birding, boating, fishing, swimming, walkways, picnic tables
  • Harbor setting, sandy beach and tidal wetlands
  • Summer fees and seasonal cafe