The Brainerd Quarry Preserve
Injun Hollow Road
Haddam Neck, CT
In 2015 the Middlesex Land Trust, in partnership with the Connecticut River Gateway Commission, preserved this fifty acre parcel of open space overlooking the Connecticut River in Haddam Neck.
The trail system was created for the public to enjoy for hiking, passive recreation and education. Paths that run along both the ridge and the base of dramatic cliffs, created from the property’s historic use as a quarry, offer breathtaking views of the Connecticut River and Haddam Meadows State Park.
The land has been named the Brainerd Quarry Preserve to reflect the historic importance of the Brainerd Family in Haddam. Daniel Brainerd was one of the 28 founding settlers of Haddam in 1662, and a century later, in 1762, Deacon Esra Brainerd opened a quarry on this now preserved site. The quarry operated for more than 150 years, shipping stone down river to New York and as far south as Maryland, Virginia and New Orleans. A 2011 study of the history and archeology of the area describes the Brainerds as “a family of entrepreneurs in the forefront of early industry and commerce in the Connecticut River Valley” and commends the quarry site as “…ideal for use as an outdoor classroom for studies in local history, geology, mining, early American industry, the Industrial Revolution in Connecticut and other related topics for grammar school, high school and college students.”
This significant property above the Connecticut River lies along Injun Hollow Road just north of the 585 acre Connecticut Yankee property. It is owned and managed by the Middlesex Land Trust, a regional not-for-profit all volunteer land conservation organization that, since 1987, has been dedicated to the preservation of open space in northern Middlesex County. This preserve helps to protect the Lower Connecticut River Valley, one of the “most important ecological landscapes in the United States” according to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior.