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Tucker & George Blackburn

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Woodland Trail at Brookes

Trail Sign at Brookes


Cheshire Land Trust
Preserving Land as a Living Resource Since 1969

Brooke Preserve

A gift by Elizabeth Carpenter

Elizabeth Carpenter resided with her family on 45 acres of hilly forested property at the corner of Sperry and Cook Hill Road. The property was acquired over time by her father and had served as a summer retreat for her family beginning in the 1920's. She hoped to see it preserved as she had always known the land to be... wild and little changed by the imprint of man. Today 40 acres of this property are permanently protected.

Kolstad Woods expands preserve...December 2014

The Cheshire Land Trust has added four acres of property to the Brooke preserve thanks to Dr. Leonard Kolstad and his wife Karen. The Kolstad’s said that they often enjoyed walking on the Land Trust’s Brooke Preserve on Sperry Road. “We came to realize that our property adjoined that CLT open space.  We were inspired to donate a piece of our land as a way of giving back to the community by expanding this beautiful area”, said Karen Kolstad. 

Kolstad Woods

The property consists of a small area of wetlands and several acres of early growth, upland forest. The area has been named Kolstad Woods. This extends an important CLT greenbelt that extends from Elim Park to Half Moon Road. The Kolstad gift is very important since greenbelts are the preferred way to protect land. Instead of small pieces of land here and there, greenbelts provide better cover and corridors for animals and birds. They also serve to maintain an open countryside appearance for the surrounding neighborhoods.


Location: Sperry Rd & Cook Hill Rd.

Acquired: March 2004 & June 2005 Acreage: 40

Additional protection - Conservation Restriction: South Central Regional Water Authority

Location: Sperry Rd & Cook Hill Rd.

Acquired: Kolstad Woods Deember 2014 Acreage: 4

Description: The Brooke Preserve rises sharply from Sperry Road and then plateaus. With over 4o acres of hardwood forest that has been actively managed, the preserve is an extraordinary place. Elizabeth Carpenter lived in a home on the property which is now owned by her three children, Brooke, George and Tucker Blackburn on a 5 acre adjoining parcel.

George Blackburn began discussions with CLT in 1993 on behalf of his mother. As often will happen in such matters, no firm commitment was made but the outline for a potential gift was created that led to the generous bequest of 34 acres in 2004. The Trust was offered and agreed to purchase an additional 6 acres from the Blackburns. A fundraising effort was begun and substantial contributions came from neighbors including Edward Tufte, Anthony Arcesi and Richard Straub. The effort raised about $75,000 including contributions from neighbors, CLT members and businesses in town. CLT also negotiated a conservation restriction on the property with the (RWA) South Central Regional Water Authority for $150,000. The RWA was interested in the restriction because of the property's importance to the Mill River Watershed.

Trails At Brooke Preserve

Click on map for printable PDF map file

Under the direction of CLT directors Rick Marinaro and Bob Davis Eagle Scout candidates, Jason Marinaro and Mike Saraceno completed a comprehensive trail system at Brooke Preserve. Each of the young men led scouts from Troop 92 throughout the many months of trail planning and construction.

Brooke Preserve Trail Map


Thanks to their hard work CLT opened Brooke Memorial Preserve for hiking spring 2007. Eagle Scout candidate Jake Siciliano and other scouts completed an off street parking area in the fall of 2007. The parking lot off Sperry Road is sufficient for 3-4 cars.

Parking Area at Brookes Preserve

The trail is approx. 1-1/2 miles and traverses a variety of terrain including a winding brook in a small but very pretty gorge.  The loop trail can be walked in either direction to return to the original starting point.  There is a high point on the south loop on the gas pipeline that offers a view of Mount Sanford and Prospect Ridge.

Troop 92 will be the property stewards for the foreseeable future. This partnership will ensure the trails stay open and provide for a host of future projects for the boys.


CLT's Brooke Preserve is within walking distance of the 34 acre Fresh Meadows Preserve along Cook Hill Road as seen in upper portion of this aerial photo.

Aerial Photo by Ev Cassagneres

Brooke Preserve & Fresh Meadows

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Site last updated: April 20, 2015