rare outcrop of quartzite and marble along the Housatonic River nurtures more than 800 kinds of plants. Bartholomew’s Cobble shelters one of the greatest diversities of ferns in North America. As many as 50 varieties of wildflowers grow here, warm and protected between the rock and the river.
Trillium, dutchman’s breeches, wild columbine and more bloom in April and May, when sunlight warms the forest floor, before the trees open their leaves to shade it. Migrating birds pass through in spring and early fall, and the ferns peak in June.
The visitors’ center is open year-round, and five miles of walking trails cross 329 acres along the river, through hemlock forest and along beaver ponds to Hurlburt Hill. The Cobble is a Trustees of Reservations property, and in the warmer half of the year naturalists canoe on the river. In winter they lead snowshoe treks with hot chocolate and walk up the hill in the full moon.