ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Hiking the Neilmann Parcel Trail

Updated on August 21, 2014

Photos of the trail

Wilton Wildlife Preserve Trail Series: Neilmann Parcel

Wilton Wildlife Preserve Trail Series: Neilmann Parcel

The Neilmann Parcel trail is one of the five properties that make up the Wilton Wildlife Preserve and this trail is a dandy. Located on Ruggles Road in the town of Wilton, this parcel was protected in 1999 using a combination of local funds and state grant money. The Town of Wilton owns the Neilmann parcel.

The 145-acre parcel is primarily wooded, and a lot of the trees are old. There are wetlands and year-round pools of water. It is a wooded trail and the woods reveal old logging roads and stumps that are clues to the land’s history. The western portion of this property also includes part of Miller Swamp, the largest wetland in the Town of Wilton.

This trail is really wonderful. There are two loops, each about 7/10 of a mile, with a connecting trail of 4/10 of a mile, for a total of 1.8 miles. The back trail is the one that leads to the swamp. I walked this trail in the early spring, and the forest was alive with the sounds of thousands of peepers, as well as some bullfrogs.

A caveat to walking this trail, though is the presence of wetlands and swamps means mosquitoes, and they can be quite overwhelming if you are not prepared with bug spray. Also, as the trail is fairly flat with only small hills, a lot of standing water and mud has to be negotiated in the spring. The other thing to watch out for is roots strewn all along the trail because of the old trees. These roots can be far-reaching and cross the trail entirely, so a watchful eye is needed to ensure you don’t trip and fall, which I have been known to do!

As you start the trail, you cross over a footbridge that is well-maintained and fairly new. Unfortunately, that is not the case for the other “bridges” on this trail. The back trail that winds through the swamp, uses only primitive planks to navigate the swampy area and navigating them can be difficult.

But all caution aside, this is indeed a very pretty trail. Old forests are not very common in upstate New York and this is an excellent opportunity to view one up close. There are a lot of dead trees that have fallen that are strewn across the forest floor. Some of them are hosts to mushrooms and insect life and provide an educational opportunity for those hiking with kids.

As I said earlier, this is a fairly even trail, so most children would have no problem walking the length of it and there is a lot to capture their interest. The parcel is home to Barred Owls, and if you walk near dusk, you might actually see one, which I did, but wasn’t able to get a picture of it. Their call is very eerie, in a series of four hoots that sound like “Who cooks for you, who cooks for you”, according to some observers.

Other wildlife I have observed on this trail include non-venomous snakes, squirrels and chipmunks, a wide variety of birds, and even a red fox.

The trail is also lined with a wide variety of ferns and wild strawberries. The fiddle-head ferns are very delicate and are a sight to see when they poke their heads up in the spring. Other plants I am able to identify are lady slippers and violets. Not a lot of other flowers are able to grow here because the thick growth of trees makes for a very shaded environment.

The real beauty of the trail is the swamp. It is very peaceful and still, and surrounded by trees, both dead and alive, it isn’t hard to imagine you have stepped back in time.

I highly recommend this trail, and it is an especially good one for a hot day, when the shade keeps the forest much cooler than other trails.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)