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147 Acres in Portland and East Hampton

A keystone ecological property which:

• protects endangered and rare species from the Portland Reservoir to the Connecticut River

• expands the 15,000+ acre Meshomasic State Forest/Forest Landscape Greenway

• connects and expands blueblazed and other recreational trails

The large, active beaver pond is also important for turtles, snakes, birds and many other species.
Eastern box turtle (Photo by C. Tjerandsen)

Eastern box turtles are a Connecticut special concern species and are found in well-drained forest bottomlands such as this property. The greatest threat to this species is habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation due to development. 

Northern leopard frog

Northern leopard frogs are another Connecticut special concern species found in the flood-plains of large streams or in wetlands around the margins of large lakes. Preserving healthy wetlands and undisturbed and undeveloped buffers will benefit this species.

Endangered and Rare Species Habitat-Linkage Map from Natures’ Network 

Nature’s Network is a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientific collaboration with partners from 13 states, federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and universities to identify the best opportunities for conserving and connecting intact habitats and ecosystems and supporting imperiled species to help ensure the future of fish and wildlife across the Northeastern U.S. region.
Map Credit—NALCC, UMass, The Nature Conservancy, C. Tracey, K. Ruddock

Expands the 15,000+ acre Meshomasic State Forest/Forest Landscape Greenway

This area was singled out by The Nature Conservancy as one of the Last Great Places:

  • “From nesting, forage and cover for wildlife to water quantity and quality in watersheds, scenic vistas and recreational opportunities to local home grown forest and farm products, Meshomasic harbors many ecological values and traditional land uses important to the community and biodiversity on an ecoregional scale.”
  • The benefits of large forest blocks include clean air, water recharge and increasing carbon sink capabilities.
Meshomasic was acquired in 1903 as the first state forest in Connecticut.  The forest floor is scattered with boulders and large rocks from the last ice age and cobalt, quartzite, and feldspar are abundant. 
Trees Noted on Property: chestnut; white, red, black and scarlet oak; pignut and shagbark hickory; mockernut, basswood; white, gray and black birch; tupelo, hemlock, red cedar, red maple, and sugar maple.
Native Shrubs: witch hazel, highbush blueberry
Fish: American eel, golden shiner, chain pickerel, channel catfish, largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed, white and yellow perch 

Four streams flow down the property to Rattlesnake Brook and Beaver Pond.
From left to right: Evidence of beaver colony; Sabre-toothed moss by Rattlesnake Brook; Rattlesnake orchid in the forest.

Connects and Expands Blue-Blazed and Other Recreational Trails 

Portland’s Plan of Conservation and Development shows a future trail through Meshomasic’s Rattlesnake Brook Preserve, connecting to the Airline Trail and Portland’s trail system.

Connections are also possible to the Shenipsit trail, a principal hiking trail within Connecticut Forest & Park’s Blue-Blazed Trail System.


In summary, this acquisition: 

• aligns with state and local conservation and climate goals.

• protects the watershed , habitats and ecosystems of a significant number of endangered and rare species.

• expands the 15,000+ acre Meshomasic State Forest/Forest Landscape Greenway.

• improves public access through connections to the Airline and Shenipsit Trails.

Middlesex Land Trust, people who depend daily on clean air and water, and all the fauna and flora residing on this land would appreciate your support in the acquisition of this extraordinary property!