Hemlock Hills


Located in the northern section of Ridgefield, the Hemlock Hills and pine Mountain properties were originally acquired by Otto Lippolt, a Ridgebury well-digger. He planned a residential community and had culverts and wide development roads cut through the forest. He died before his plan was completed, and his widow sold the property to the Town of Ridgefield. These roads are now part of an extensive network of trails with loops of varying lengths. A section of hemlock hills is property generously given to the Town as a gift of Dr. Daniel Liebowitz.

Hemlock Hills derives its name from the vast hemlock forest which covers the northern part of the refuge. Mountain laurel, striped maple, witch hazel, and pignut hickory are all present. In spring and summer, the area is alive with wildflowers, including an unusual profusion of march marigolds in the swampy areas. Marble deposits underlaying the red maple swamp just north of Lake Windwing and the ravine directly west of Pine Mountain Road cause the growth of different plants that in other parts of the open space. Striated rock formations and large perched rocks give evidence of extensive glacial action.

The Pine Mountain entrance leads down to streams with interesting multiple crossings, and along the trail from Mountain Road there is an historic ruin. The overlook on the trail from North Shore Drives offers views of Ridgebury School, Lake Windwing, and Barlow Mountain.


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