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Far Mill River, Stratford, CT

Posted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:33 pm
by ryandallas
This is an EDIT from 5/10/2020; Original post from February 2, 2020

Earlier this year, I visited Stratford's Far Mill River Park, thinking it might have some tall tulips. After all, it's not far from the Birchbank Mountain Open Space, which is one of the best tulip sites in SW Connecticut, if not the best.

This park is a real gem, and I'm surprised I had never heard about it. Maybe I hadn't heard of it because it is not very accessible (more on that later). The park features a beautiful river that snakes its way past a bohemian community, some amazing hemlock groves and a 6-foot waterfall.

The southern end of the park was dominated by black birch. Past the waterfall, the forest became more diverse--there were lots of hemlock, tulip trees, birch, etc. Here I found a 7-foot girth yellow birch, which is one of the largest I have seen. It was a very sick tree, eaten through by fungus and falling apart.

Eventually I came to a flat strip of land that bordered the river. It looked to be man-made, as there were manhole covers here and there. This is where I found a cluster of tall tulip trees. The tallest of them was 145.8 feet (144 foot straight-up) and 8.1 feet in circumference. A couple of other trees in the vicinity must have been 140+. So Stratford is definitely in the running for the 150+ club, but it's not there quite yet.

I could not go much further north, as the park is not very accessible. It has very few trails, and they are not well-kept. It looked like the northern part of the park was dominated by hemlock, but who knows, there might be an even taller tulip tree to be found there.

Re: Far Mill River, Stratford, CT

Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:17 am
by dbhguru

Again, congratulations! CT's tulips are recapturing some of the state's lost glory when the Cathedral Pines blew down.


Re: Far Mill River, Stratford, CT

Posted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:58 pm
by ryandallas
I wish I could have seen the Cathedral Pines but it sounds like they fell long before I was interested in forestry. Gold's Pines in Cornwall is nice little hike though.