George & Woodward H. Griswold Preserve
A 51-acre preserve off of
Route 1. The preserve provides parking, walking trails and viewing of
the fish ladder on Mill Pond.
Directions. The George & Woodward
Griswold Preserve (51 acres) is
located off the Boston Post Road, about two miles west of Laysville
Center and almost opposite Stoneleigh Knoll. Turn right into the parking
lot when coming from the east.
The loop or perimeter
trail is entered between the two cedar posts and bears to the left after
about 100 feet. This trail leads directly to the fish ladder area. From
the fish ladder area the trail continues along the bank of the pond in
an easterly direction for about 300 yards, then turns to the right and
enters a wood road back to the parking area. The walk is about about
three quarters of a mile and takes about forty minutes. A more direct
route is the dirt road to the fish ladder area and back. This walk takes
about 20 minutes.
There is a fish ladder
on the property.
The fish ladder is monitored by the
Department of Environmental Protection, DEP who issues weekly fish
count reports during the fish run season, please see the
Connecticut River Salmon Association's web site for a list of
During fish runs in the spring and fall, the ladder has a viewing window
where it's possible to see the fish go up the ladder (go to the lower
part of the ladder).
Why a fish ladder?
Diadromous fish are species that live in both
saltwater and freshwater and engage in extended spawning migrations back and
Anadromous fish begin their lives in
freshwater, migrate to sea as juveniles, mature at sea, and return to the stream
of their origin to spawn. Well-known examples include salmon, shad, alewives,
sturgeon, and sea lamprey.
Catadromous fish (which, in Connecticut
include only the American eel) begin their lives in the ocean, migrate to
freshwater as juveniles, mature in freshwater, and migrate back to the ocean to
When we built dams in all of our rivers
during the past 200 years to power mills and hydroelectric projects, we erected
barriers that many fish could not get around. This blocked their access to
critical habitat. In some cases (such as the alewife), it reduced their
population size greatly. In other cases (such as the Atlantic salmon in
Connecticut), all spawning habitat was upstream of the dams and it resulted in
the species extirpation.
Government agencies such as the CT DEP are
working to restore runs of diadromous fish to streams in New England. The best
thing to do is remove dams but that is often not possible. The next best thing
to do is build a fish ladder to allow fish to swim up and around the dams and
access historical habitat. The CT DEP enthusiastically cooperates with local
groups like the Old
Lyme Conservation Trust to build and operate fish ladder to support fish
restoration to our local communities.
The following applies
to all properties owned and managed by OLCT:
always carry out what you carry in, please bring a bag to put your
No ATVs (All
Trails get beat up and might be dangerous for anyone else to use.
All dogs/pets under
your control at all times.
Stay on the trails
do not trespass on adjacent land.
Do not camp, start
fires, mark trees or collect plants or mineral.
For more information
please see our General Information A-Z
Let's take care of what
we have got so we can enjoy it for a long time to come!