Hiking Trails in Babcock Preserve Greenwich, CT
The Babcock Preserve Loop is an easy hiking trail located in Babcock Preserve in Greenwich Connecticut. It’s an accessible and easy hike based on difficulty, but visitors say that getting lost on the trail happens frequently so you’ll want to ensure you know what to expect before heading out on this hike.
New hikers will enjoy this trail, as it consists of mostly tiny inclines interspersed with long stretches of fairly level hiking. I personally think it’s a great hike to explore after work, when you don’t want to travel too far, but are really needing to get outdoors and breath some fresh (and isolated?) air.
When beginning the trail, you’ll see some areas with flowing water, and hear lots of bird calls. But generally, it’s a great, less trafficked area to fully immerse yourself in nature.
Location: Greenwich, Connecticut
Off of exit 31 on interstate 15.
Distance: 4.0-5.0 miles for the full loop (depending on where all you go) but can easily do shorter durations.
Time: 1.3-3 hours, depending again on length
Features: Nothing fancy, just nature
Hours: Unlisted, but would guess sunrise-sunset
Parking: Very limited
Bathrooms: Yes, there is one in an enclosed building.
Dog Friendly: Yes, but only on leash
Cell-Phone Service: Great
Location, Parking, and Bathrooms for Babcock Preserve
Immediately off of Interstate 15, on North Street, Babcock Preserve sits quietly waiting on local residents to come check out its amazing beauty. When you get out of the car, you can hear it’s very quiet – even being so close to 15, so it’s a great escape from reality once you get further into the woods and can soak it all in.
There is a second parking lot, off of Lake Avenue, which has even less parking and takes you to the opposite side of the same trail.
After getting off the interstate, Babcock Preserve comes up quickly, so be looking for it. I almost missed the entrance myself and had to make a quick turn into the parking lot. The lot isn’t large, but it is well marked. You’ll see it clearly, but it may be difficult to get parking if you go at a peak hour.
Additionally, there is a bathroom that is sheltered and isn’t a portable toilet! I always like to celebrate the small luxuries at any hiking location, and this bathroom is definitely something to enjoy.
North Street Parking Lot
Lake Avenue Parking Lot
Trail Map and Entrance
At the end of the parking lot there is a sign with a large trail map. Most people start on the yellow trail, and then switch over to the blue trail to complete the full loop. The yellow trail is extremely well marked, and easy to follow to the other side of the preserve. However, the blue trail is not well marked at all, and this is where most people get lost.
Link to a printable version of the map by clicking here
Now, Babcock Preserve is a small park, so if you do get lost you’ll very easily find your way back to the parking lot through just going back the way you initially came, or using a cut-through white trail to get back to the well-marked yellow trail.
It also helps that I had cell phone service the entire time, so if I was ever in danger of being extremely lost it would have been easy to call someone to help me out.
But, if the thought of getting a bit lost in the woods makes you uncomfortable, I would recommend downloading and following the AllTrails map of this loop. This will use your phone’s GPS to guide you if you get lost and need help finding your way back to the trail (or at least a trail that goes back to where you came from).
I got lost while on the blue trail, and ended up using my AllTrails map to guide me back, through a cut-through white trail, to the yellow trail and back to the parking lot.
Hiking the Back Preserve Loop Trail – Features
The Babcock Preserve Loop is an easy hiking trail without a ton of stand-out features. But, that doesn’t mean this trail is boring. Not at all. Instead, this trail’s uniqueness is built into the entire hike.
Specifically, my favorite features of the trail were the frequent trail diversions, to route around muddy areas, the several areas with an abundance of tree roots above ground, and the rock walls interspersed throughout the trail.
See the mud pit and the route around on the other side. Picture is taken from the other route round as many had two options per muddy section.
It’s fairly often that a hiker will run into mud on the trail, especially if there is water anywhere near where they are hiking. Most trails assume that you’ll either trudge through it, or that you’ll find your own creative way to prevent getting ankle-deep in mud.
The Babcock Preserve Loop trail doesn’t do this. Instead they have developed side trails that perfectly divert around the muddy areas. They are easily seen, and well marked areas that you’ll use to route around and prevent getting caked in mud as you go through the hike. I really appreciated this, as I hiked this trail the day after a rainy day, so there were several very muddy areas I was happy to be able to go around easily.
Since the hike is a rather muddy one, this means there is an adequate source of water for all the living things found on the trail. I’ve noticed that when this happens, the tree roots will crawl their way up above ground and spread over the land. It’s beautiful, and also a bit spooky to see.
If you know what type of trees do this, please comment below! I’d love to learn more about how and why the tree roots grow this way.
Finally, this trail contains several of the common rock walls hikers will see on many hikes around Connecticut and New York. These walls were initially placed there by farmers looking to clear the rocky soil found in the North East for more fertile planting grounds.
I always thought these were there to dictate the boundaries of the farmer’s land, but that is a myth! In fact, farmers just placed the rocks on the edge of their land to get them out of the way of planting, and not as a marker of land ownership. I love seeing these rock walls throughout the area, as it draws me back in time to imagine what it was like for the people living on these lands centuries ago.
Other Tips to Remember
Babcock Preserve Loop is an easy hiking trail great for local Connecticut or New York residents looking for an easy or quick hike. It feels like a remote escape close to home for anyone needing some quiet and fresh air.
Like always, if you’re out hiking be sure to remember to leave no trace. Take out your trash, and enjoy nature without damaging or destroying it. Hiking the Babcock Preserve Loop will leave you feeling at peace and fully immersed in nature, while experiencing the beauty of Greenwich Connecticut, in Fairfield County.
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