Darling Road Preserve is part of a large block of unbroken forest and is adjacent to other protected lands. The unbroken forest provides important nesting habitat for many interior forest bird species including the Scarlet Tanager and the threatened Cerulean Warbler. There are over 3 miles of well-marked trails. The 5-Town Goodwin Trail passes through DRP along part of the existing trail system.
Darling Road Preserve’s original 109 acres were purchased from the Litsky Family in two separate purchases. These purchases were made possible by generous donations from Salem residents, The Town of Salem, the Lyme and East Haddam Land Trusts, The Nature Conservancy and corporate matching funds. In addition SLT received grants from Dominion, the State of CT, the Bafflin Foundation, Fields and Ponds Foundation, the Tides Foundation, the SECT Community Foundation and Vanguard.
In August 2018 the SLT Board gratefully accepted The Nature Conservancy’s offer to transfer ownership of their 33.5-acre Winslow Preserve to the Salem Land Trust; this parcel is now part of the Darling Road Preserve. Sarah Pellegrino from TNC said, “Winslow Preserve is a wonderful place, and the Salem Land Trust is a great organization with which The Nature Conservancy has a strong relationship. This is an excellent fit, and we know Winslow Preserve is going to be in good hands.” With the addition of these 33.5 acres from TNC, there are now three entrances and three parking areas for the Darling Road Preserve.
The DRP trails map shows the trails on the Preserve as well as on the preserved adjacent private land. Dogs are allowed on leashes, but no hunting or motorized vehicles.
DIRECTIONS: Parking areas at 428 Darling Rd. and 470 Darling Rd.
From Salem Roundabout: West, toward East Haddam, on Rt. 82 for 1.2 mi., left on Darling Rd. for 0.3 mi., right onto White Birch Rd. for 0.6 mi., straight ahead to Darling Rd. for 0.7 mi. Preserve entrance, with brown kiosk and Trail Map, is on the left. Additional parking 0.2 miles further.