A Land Trust Supported By Your Donations - MacricostasA Land Trust Supported By Your Donations - Macricostas

Macricostas Expansion

A Campaign to Expand Macricostas Preserve into Pinnacle Valley and Beyond

“Each town should have a park, or rather a primitive forest, of 500 or 1,000 acres, where a stick should never be cut for fuel, a common possession forever, for instruction and recreation.”

Henry David Thoreau, 1859

 With its breathtaking view over Lake Waramaug from the pinnacle at Waramaug’s Rock and its pristine wetlands for bird watching, Macricostas has become a popular destination for visitors. Although Macricostas is the smallest of Steep Rock’s preserves, its 4.5- mile trail to the pinnacle is one of the organization’s most heavily used. Macricostas Preserve was created by Steep Rock Association (SRA) in 2000 through the bargain-purchase of 238 acres of land from the Macricostas Family, funded by SRA donors, the State of CT and the Town of Washington. Other gifts and easements have increased the preserve to 560 acres. Today, we invite you to join us in protecting more of this important watershed land.

Pinnacle Valley… Over the past few years, SRA conducted reviews of land around the Macricostas Preserve and concluded that some of the highest conservation value land in the area is adjacent to its existing holdings. A pristine area long known as Pinnacle Valley, which abuts the northern
boundary of the Macricostas Preserve, is high on the list. With several hundred acres of dense forest and verdant woodlands, Pinnacle Valley is conservation worthy for a number of reasons. In particular, it houses significant water features, important geological formations, diverse botanical and biological habitat, and noteworthy historical and archaeological sites.

Expanding into Pinnacle Valley would give SRA the opportunity to significantly increase the number and length of trails in the Macricostas Preserve, which are currently limited. About thirty percent of the existing preserve (including Waramaug’s Rock) is not owned by SRA but subject to easements that restrict trail access and invasives management. Pinnacle Valley’s existing trails, requiring little additional work, could add several signature hiking destinations to the preserve’s trail system.

…and beyond: In addition to Pinnacle Valley, we are working with landowners in the area around Macricostas to add acreage where it makes sense, including donations or purchases of fee land and easements. Our long-term vision is to double the preserve’s fee owned acreage (to 800 acres) and triple the trail length (to 15 miles), with potential connections to the CT Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail system. The entire project as planned would have minimal impact on town tax rolls. Since 2017, when SRA began discussing expansion of the Macricostas Preserve, a large number of nearby parcels have come onto the market. SRA is raising $800,000 to acquire the parcels with highest conservation value.

As of March 2019, we have acquired nealy 100 acres, a 25% increase in owned land at the Macricostas Preserve. These acquisitions include large wetlands and several streams which feed Lake Waramaug and Meeker Swamp. The Preserve now extends to the Warren town line.
Your gifts will help with additional acquisitions and donations of land or conservation easements in order to permanently protect Pinnacle Valley. 

Newly protected areas in yellow; new trails not yet created – please, no hiking on new areas yet
View of Lake Waramaug
View of Lake Waramaug

Steep Rock Association is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), tax-exempt land trust founded in 1925 by Ehrick Rossiter. During the past 90+ years, the organization has grown from its original 186 acres into a network 

QUESTIONS? Call 860-868-9131
Please make checks payable to Steep Rock Association:
PO Box 279, Washington Depot, 
CT 06794 for the Macricostas Expansion Project.

Steep Rock Association is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), tax-exempt land trust founded in 1925 by Ehrick Rossiter. During the past 90+ years, the organization has grown from its original 186 acres into a network 

QUESTIONS? Call 860-868-9131
Please make checks payable to Steep Rock Association:
PO Box 279, Washington Depot, 
CT 06794 for the Macricostas Expansion Project.

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