Bob and Esther Heller Preserve
This 15.8 preserve located on 80 Town Woods Road in the northeastern corner of Old Lyme is named for the couple who generously donated the land to the Trust. In winter, the highest point on the preserve affords dramatic views of the surrounding area. Flat ledges on the way to the summit are thought to have been used by Native Americans for ritual ceremonies. The southwestern section of the preserve contains a small wetland that is a source of the Lieutenant River.
The Heller preserve is a left turn off Town Woods Road just before the border of Lyme and across the street from the state-owned MacCurdy-Salisbury property. Turn into the preserve and you will find a small parking area.
Click for: • Mapquest Directions.
There are two trails on Heller. The green trail begins at the parking area, proceeds through the flat wooded area at the base of the ledge to the western border of the property, and then loops back to the parking area along the southern boundary. It is a short, easy and pleasant walk. The orange trail turns off the green trail and ascends through woods and ledge to the highest point on the property, then descends to the parking area. The trail affords views of the amphitheatre and is only .5 mile but steep in sections. Please respect the No Trespassing signs posted by our neighbor on the western and northern border of the preserve.
The trails are a testament to the outdoor skills of the young adults of Old Lyme. The green and orange trails were blazed by two Boy Scouts from Lyme-Old Lyme Boy Scout Troop #26--David Muckle and Kyle O’Neill--for their respective Eagle Scout projects. And the green trail was extended and improved by the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Environmental Club.
In 2003, the Hellers donated a conservation easement on the property, which protected it from development. In 2010, the Hellers donated the property in fee. The Hellers are former residents of Old Lyme.