Bee Brook | Join me for a hike along a Mystical New England Trail in New Preston, Connecticut

© Copyright 2011 Tracy Lynn Conway with all rights reserved.

Lichen and moss share the exposed roots of a tree.
Lichen and moss share the exposed roots of a tree.

Walking onto a great nature trail is like entering a perfect dream; you leave the fast paced world behind and enter a piece of heaven on earth. This is how I feel about Hidden Valley Preserve located in Litchfield County, Connecticut, U.S.A. Hidden Valley has three looping trails, I walked along the trail called Bee Brook.

A markerRte 47, New Preston CT -
Rte 47, New Preston, CT 06777, USA
[get directions]

There is a sign identifying the brook itself and a slightly muddy section of grass where tire tracks remain from the cars of previous visitors, but like many great trails, the most likely way to find this hidden treasure is by word of mouth. For a few years after moving into my New England home I have overheard the mention of this trail on numerous occasions but finally one day had the time and adventurous spirit to visit it for myself.

This trail is exploding with an abundance of moss and lichen which make for an rare visual experience. As a lover of the color green I was awestruck by the mystical appearance of the flora. I concluded that the mist from the brook in conjunction with the pine and deciduous trees running parallel with the brook trap this moisture and allow the moss and lichen to grow with abandon. The air feels moist and almost tropical, which adds to the mystical feel of the walk.


This is a level trail that lies alongside the eastern bank of the brook on what was once a bed for the Shepaug Rail Road. This train carried passengers from Hawleyville, CT and ran from 1872 through 1948. The line was shut down when the profit margin was too small to maintain the equipment.

This region was once home to the Native American tribe called the Quiripi, sadly this tribe was devastated by smallpox and other European diseases.


My young son and I take this walk now regularly and it is a favorite trail for us both. I brought my camera along and snapped some photos to share with you. I hope you enjoy the view.

I was not only amazed by the volume of moss and lichen but by the way these trees griped onto the rocks and managed to grow in spite of the odds.

Lichen growth, or the absence of it, is used as an indicator of air quality. Not surprisingly, lichen populations are on the decline worldwide.The species has a history of use in traditional medicines, and recent research has corroborated some medicinal properties of lichen extracts.

This and other tributaries to Bee Brook contribute to the high level of moisture on this trail

An exquisite specimen of lichen. This is my favorite shade of green.

The carpet of moss made me feel that my inquisitive son could easily be replaced by a mystical fairy.

Moss do not have flowers or seeds, their simple leaves cover the thin wiry stems. At certain times mosses produce spore capsules which may appear as beak-like capsules borne aloft on thin stalks.

Lichen is also used to make litmus paper and as a dye to color tweed jackets.

Thank you for joining me along the Bee Brook Loop.

I hope you enjoyed the trail as much as I did!

Lichen with Dean Greene of Eat the Weeds

Shepaug R.R.


More about the trails

Hidden Valley has three blazed trails:

Bee Brook Loop (2.2 mi.)

Van Sinderen Loop (3.5 mi.) and

Pinnacle Trail (.9 mi.)

Directions to the trail

Hidden Valley Reserve Information

More by this Author

Comments 20 comments

Nuria Seraphine profile image

Nuria Seraphine 5 years ago

I thoroughly enjoy walks in such beautiful places as these. (:

Very charming.

Kate Spenser profile image

Kate Spenser 5 years ago from Austin, TX

Love this hub! As a native New Englander, I love learning of fantastic little gems of places that I'd never heard of before. And thanks for all the great info about lichen and moss, too - very interesting. Up/Beautiful. :)

vissitor profile image

vissitor 5 years ago from Sonoma Valley, California

"Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher." - William Wordsworth

What an evocative and inviting hub, Tracy. I have always loved discovering these kinds of places. Such walks are like visiting a museum or art gallery. They open the mind and inspire us to know more fully what it is to be human...Thank you.

Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 5 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

@Nuria - I am glad you enjoyed it. Thank you.

@Kate - So good to see you over here! You are so lucky to have grown up in New England, the beauty never fails to amaze me. This trail was a great find. I am glad you liked the hub and learned something too. Thank you!

@Vissitor - I should add your quote to this hub, it fits in perfectly. Our ability to appreciate the qualities of a nature trail on so many levels does reflect our humanity. What a great comment! Thank you.

Rose West profile image

Rose West 5 years ago from Michigan

Loved taking this walk with you! It's such a beautiful, magical place! I've always been a lover of New England, and I love looking at pictures and hearing about it (since I live as far away as possible in the US ;)

judi berkun 5 years ago

You have really captured the true essence of the trail.

Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 5 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

@Rose West - So glad you enjoyed it! It is a magical place. The tropical air makes me think of what the climate in Hawaii might feel like. So fun to share nature from one side of the U.S. to the other.

Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 5 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

@Judi - Thank you so much!

Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi Tracy, This looks like a fabulous trail and your son looks as though he's really enjoying it!

We took my grandson for a nature trail recently, I thought perhaps he would have enjoyed going out on his bicycle more, but he loved it and is still asking to go again!

I love to see moss growing and enjoyed the photos, thanks for sharing.

Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 5 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

@Movie Master - My son thoroughly enjoys this trail and asks to go again and again. I think nature trails are a perfect activity to share with children and I love hearing that you share this activity with your Grandson. I have fond memories of the walks I used to take with my Grandmother, even just around the neighborhood.

I am glad you enjoyed this hub, thank you!

camdjohnston12 profile image

camdjohnston12 5 years ago

Fantastic article. I love reading this.It's interesting and fun. Thanks.

Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 5 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

@Camdjohnston - I am glad that you enjoyed it. Thank you so much!

ixbag profile image

ixbag 5 years ago from Guangzhou

lovely son and happy life. i'd like such a beautiful walk. hope to see more pictures and articles about this fantastic land. thanks for sharing.

Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 5 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Ixbag, you are welcome, I am so glad that you enjoyed it! Thank you.

kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

Wow, thanks for the armchair voyage. Thanks for taking the time to bring us to Bee Brook.

There is something about the trees, the foliage, the flora that makes me recharged, really. They remind me that the world should not always be fast-paced, stressful. That we can take the time out to relax without blowing our hard-earned coins. By just walking a trail, we can actually find peace, satisfaction.

Voted your hub beautiful and interesting as it is :)

Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 5 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Kerlynb, a walk on a nature trail can provide the much needed balance for the busy, fast paced lives that so many of us lead today and as you mention it doesn't even cost a thing. Thank you for your great comment and vote!

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA

That was a beautiful walk - I feel refreshed already! Great pictures.

Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 5 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Millionaire Tips,

Some of the best things in life are free. I am glad you enjoyed it!

Claudine 4 years ago

Tracy! What a beautiful article/experience. Thank you for sharing your photos. When I googled bee brook you were the top post! I'm hoping to go today before yoga. A great day indeed!

See you soon



Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA Author

Claudine, I am thrilled that you enjoyed the article and photos. I hope you enjoy the trail as much as I have. Thank you so much!


    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article