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Open Space

The Town of Fairfield owns over 1,100 acres of open space that includes upland forest, lakes, rivers, salt marsh, wetlands and meadows throughout inland and coastal Fairfield. These recreational parcels provide opportunities for uses such as hiking, leisurely walking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. In addition, they enhance and conserve natural resources, protect fish and wildlife habitats, serve as outdoor classrooms for nature study, and contribute significantly to the beautiful rural characteristics that are so much a part of the Town of Fairfield.

An extensive network of trails open to the public free of charge is found throughout the open space system.  Please familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations governing open space before heading out for a visit.  If you have any questions regarding a particular open space please contact the Conservation Department.

Guided Trails

In 2009, thanks to Frank Rice, former Conservation Commission member and Fairfield University biology professor, a guide book entitled 'Walking Through Fairfield's Open Spaces' was published.  The book was created as a guide to some of the more popular Open Space walking and hiking trails in Fairfield. Professor Rice undertook the project not only to encourage use and enjoyment of the open spaces, but also to promote environmental stewardship.  In November 2019, content from the book was made available online.

Click the link in the Open Space Guide column or a location on the following map to view the online guide for these more popular open spaces.

Open Space
Guide 
 Acreage Map Description
Brett Woods  185.7 #14 In the northern part of town;  Commonly used for hiking, horseback riding, camping, and cross-country skiing
Flower House Drive and Duck Farm  5 #10 On the east bank of the Mill River; Adjacent to Riverfield parcel
Grace Richardson  87.4 #5 Located near Lake Mohegan in the Mill River watershed;  Enjoyed mostly by hikers.
Hoyden's Hill  58.5 #4 Previously used as farmland;  Well-suited for hiking and cross-country skiing
Lake Mohegan 170.4 #6 Part of the Mill River watershed;  Offers opportunities for hiking, picnicking, fishing and horseback riding
Mary Katona 2.25   West side of Katona Drive; opposite west end of Pepperbush Lane
Mill Hollow 9 #13 East side of the Mill River, just downstream of Sturges Road Bridge; abuts Perry's Mill Ponds
Mountain Laurel 23.9 #7 Mostly forested area near the Mill River and Black Rock Turnpike;  Primarily used by hikers
Penfield Mills 25 #2 Near Ash Creek; Offers boating, fishing, shellfishing, hiking, picnicking, and a playground
Perry's Mill Ponds 81.4 #12 Located on the Mill River near a historic dam; Well-suited for hiking and fishing
Pine Creek Marsh 77  #3 Encompasses the tidal wetlands of the Pine Creek watershed; ideal for hiking
Riverfield 18.5 #11 Near Riverfield School and the floodplain of the Mill River
Samp Mortar Rock  7.3 #8 Just west of Samp Mortar Lake; Used for historic conservation, hiking and wildlife conservation
Springer Glen  38 #9 Located near the Mill River floodplain; Best for hiking and fishing

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Hiking Advice

It is always important to be prepared when hiking.  Click on the links below for some helpful tips and reminders.

All Open Space Parcels

The Town of Fairfield owns over 1100 acres of open space parcels.  Click on the following links to view:

  • map of the most popular open space parcels
  • detailed list of open space parcels including uses, # of parking spaces, etc.*
  • A map of open space parcels (as of January 2014)

*11/2019 This list is a work in progress and may contain some inaccuracies. Please direct any corrections or questions to the Conservation Department.

Open Space Documents

Use the drop-down box here to view trail guides, maps and other documents related to visiting open space areas.

Listing files in 'Open Space Guides, Maps and Photos'

Watersheds and Estuaries

For information about Fairfield's watersheds and estuaries, click on the following links:

Open Space Management

The open space parcels are managed by the Conservation Department under the direction of the Conservation Commission and the Open Space Program.   Their use is governed by "Rules and Regulations, Fairfield Beaches, Waterways, Channels, Marinas, Parks, and Open Space Areas Owned and Operated by the Town of Fairfield, Fairfield, CT", available online here.  The contact person for the Open Space Program is Edward Jones, Open Space Manager (203-256-3071).

In determining how to best manage a specific parcel of open space land, the Conservation Commission follows a systematic analysis. It evaluates the assets of the property, including its natural resources, topography, geology, hydrology, cultural amenities, and history; reviews current uses and management concerns; develops management goals and objectives; and provides recommendations to guide day-to-day management of the property. This has been done in detail on several of the Town's open space parcels: Brett Woods Conservation Area; Lake Mohegan Open Space; Grace Richardson Conservation Area, and Hoyden's Hill Open Space. These management plans are available at the Conservation Department.

Over the years, the Town's Open Space Program has provided land for beaches, golf courses, ball fields, marinas, and recreational parcels.

Photo Tour

Click the progress dots below to view photographs of various open space locations throughout Fairfield.