Under management of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Bartlett Brook Wildlife Management Area is a 687-acre area with significant areas open to deer hunting and fishing. Bartlett Brook, which runs through the area, is stocked with trout by the DEEP. There are also several pheasant areas throughout the WMA. The wooded trails are also a popular, but isolated spot for horseback riders.
The land is considered young forest and shrubland habitat. These areas are preserved and maintained to help grow and restore species in need of conservation in our state. Over 50 species of “Greatest Conservation Need” can be found in habitats like this one, including the New England Cottontail — Connecticut’s only native rabbit. Several species of shrubland-dependent birds also make these forests and shrublands their home.
Fields like the one above are great places to spot the birds such as the prairie warbler and field sparrow that rely on this managed habitat. These open fields are great for pheasant-hunting, but are also lined with milkweed, making them an excellent place to view Monarch butterflies during the mid-summer.
As you walk or ride down the trails, you may come across old stonewalls — remnants leftover from the days when this area was farmland — and eventually Bartlett Brook itself along with the major beaver dams that can be found by hiking in from the Route 16 entrance.
The trails at Bartlett Brook WMA are not marked and many spurs split off from the main trail, making it easy to get lost if you don’t pay attention to where you’ve been. Use caution and don’t hike on windy days; recent gypsy moth infestations combined with drought have left trees dead throughout the state and including in wildlife management areas.
Note: This area is open to hunting so always wear bright, orange, visible clothing when visiting during hunting season.
The main parking area is located on Goshen Hill Road. An additional parking area can be found on Route 16.