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Macricostas Preserve

124 Christian Street, New Preston, CT 06777

The unspoiled land – a mix of meadow, farmland, wooded ridge and wetlands — sits just north of Route 202, opposite the junction of Route 47, and makes a magnificent natural gateway to the town. 

Points of Interest

The 516-acre Macricostas Preserve, located adjacent to Steep Rock’s office and Judea Garden, offers a spectacular variety of popular hiking trails, scenic bridges, wildlife viewing opportunities, and awe-inspiring vistas.

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1. Judea Garden

Judea Garden began in spring 2009. Our goal was to provide fresh produce for members of our community with limited financial resources. We also wanted to give volunteers an opportunity to continue to help their neighbors during difficult economic times. Judea Garden located at Macricostas Preserve, literally blossomed as a result of donations of cash and sweat equity by close to 100 individuals, schools, churches, civic organizations and businesses.

Directions: Located right next to the farm house by the parking lot for the preserve.

2. Waramaug's Rock

At an elevation of 1,250 feet, Waramaug’s Rock is a spectacular overlook providing panoramic views of Lake Waramaug and the surrounding countryside. Named after a chief of the Wyantenock Indian tribe, Lake Waramaug is the second largest natural lake in Connecticut, an ecologically vital habitat for wildlife and a recreational center for the Towns of Washington, Warren and Kent. The awe-inspiring views from the top are a rewarding dividend for the steep hike.

Directions: Follow the Yellow Circle Trail from the parking lot. Perhaps the most physically challenging hike in any of the preserves, this 45-minute climb also may be the most rewarding. The trail starts flat, crosses over Bee Brook and meanders through a large wildlife meadow before skirting a hayfield to the forest edge. After crossing Bee Brook again, the path then climbs steeply along a series of switchbacks before emerging at the Lookout. From this point, it’s another 15 minutes of steady climbing before the trail finally emerges among the clouds at Waramaug Rock, the weathered and windswept crown of Lake Waramaug. (1.69 miles one-way)

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3. Meeker Swamp & Viewing Platform

Meeker Swamp is a unique calcareous wetland – a chalky limestone-based geology rarely found east of the Appalachian Mountains. One of the last significant calcareous ecosystems in the Northeast Hills, it encompasses over 300 acres and includes part of the Bee Brook stream, wet meadows and agricultural fields as well as an adjacent ridge of talus slopes and rocky outcroppings. An excellent habitat for a variety of wildlife, the preserve overlies one of Washington’s largest aquifers and protects the town’s drinking water supply.

Directions: Follow the Yellow Circle Trail from the parking area. The entire 15-minute trek is flat. The grassy trail crosses over Bee Brook and then passes through a large meadow teaming with birds, butterflies and other wildlife. After leaving the meadow, the trail traverses the edge of a large hay field, leading to an elevated platform providing visitors with a bird’s-eye view of the expansive Meeker Swamp. (0.77-mile one-way)

4. Macricostas Lookout

En route to Waramaug’s Rock, the lookout provides a welcome resting spot with a scenic view of the hayfield adjacent to Meeker Swamp. The hayfield and surrounding meadows are home to myriad varieties of songbirds, butterflies and other wildlife. Hidden Valley Preserve forms much of the southeastern horizon.

Directions: Follow the Yellow Circle Trail from the parking area. This 30-minute trek traverses a mélange of environments. The trail starts flat, crosses over Bee Brook and meanders through a large wildlife meadow before skirting a hayfield to the forest edge. After crossing Bee Brook again, the path then climbs steeply along a series of switchbacks before emerging at a rocky outcrop, revealing an expansive view southeast over a nearly unblemished countryside. (1.11 miles one-way)
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FAQS & Rules

Please help us protect the natural beauty and integrity of the preserve by not removing or destroying plants, animals, rocks, minerals or other natural objects. Click below to see how you can best help us protect the environment.

  • Leave No Trace.
  • Collecting and foraging are prohibited without a permit.
  • Do not remove or destroy plants, animals, rocks, minerals or other natural objects.
  • Open sunrise to sunset, daily.
  • Park cars in designated areas.
  • Motorized vehicles are prohibited. Use of Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices is restricted. For approval, contact the SRA Office at (860) 868-9131.
  • No bikes, e-bikes, or motor bikes.
  • No hunting.
  • No alcoholic beverages.
  • No loud noise or music.
  • Dogs must be leashed at all times.
  • Fires are not permitted.
  • No camping.
  • No horseback riding.
  • Do not harm trees by chopping, carving or driving nails.
  • Do not litter: please carry out what you carry in.
  • Drones are prohibited.
  • Commercial activities are prohibited without a permit issued by the Executive Director and/or Board of Trustees.
  • Groups of 15 or more people require a group use permit.
  • Cross-Country Skiers: Please set tracks on one side of the trail only.
  • Hikers, Snowshoers and dogs please respect ski tracts by keeping to the other side of the trail.

Directions to Preserve

Who Needs A Passport?

Hike into history and explore one of America’s earliest land trusts with this captivating book. 

Matching Gifts

 Did you know many companies match donations made by employees, employees’ spouses, and retirees, allowing employees to DOUBLE their generosity and impact? 

Contact your employer today to see if they will match your gift.

QCDs

 If you are 70½ years of age or older, you can take advantage of a popular gift option called a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) also known as a IRA charitable rollover.  QCDs offer simple ways to benefit Steep Rock and receive tax benefits in return.

To learn more, visit here.

Stock or Wire

If you’d like to give a gift via wire or stock, please reach out to gifts@steeprockassoc.org for our account information.

DAF

You can donate through your donor advised fund in just three clocks on our website
When granting through your donor-advised fund, please use the following information:

Our legal name: Steep Rock Association, Inc.
Tax ID: #06-6069060
Mailing address: PO Box 279, Washington Depot, CT 06794

Check Donations

Please make checks payable to Steep Rock Association. Our mailing address is:

Steep Rock Association
PO Box 279
Washington Depot, CT 06794