Oil Mill Brook

Getting to the trail

 

What to look for along the Oil Mill Brook Trial

From the trailhead, go east on Land Trust land across a small wetland and then pass through a forest of beech, oaks and red maple with mixtures of yellow and black birch and hickories. The trail skirts a wetland to the south and then enters State Forest. Follow the blue blazes carefully as many other paths cross the trail.

Soon the trail divides at the base of the first of two loops. The south (right) branch passes through a sapling thicket of young black birch, beech, oaks, and red maples that have developed in areas opened during earlier timber harvests. This block of state forest is under active management, and was thinned to stimulate tree regeneration. The left (north) branch is passed up and will be taken on return.

The two sides of the loop rejoin by an old hemlock snag. Continue east, through a stone wall, and ascend and cross a low knoll dominated by large tulip-poplar and oaks. Cross Oil Mill Brook (sometimes dry in mid-summer), which here flows northward out of a small pond lined with skunk cabbage, sedges and grasses, and ferns. A few yards to the east, the trail divides once again at the base of the second loop. Take the south branch (sharp right) through another stone wall, and over a gentle knoll. Once across the knoll, turn north (left) along an old woods road; the loop trail joins the woods road in a few yards. Continue along the road, cross Oil Mill Brook (this time flowing south). Some white pines in the understory here add diversity and winter cover for birds.