Harrison Smith Preserve
The 23 acre Harrison Smith Preserve combines the beauty of a New England woodland with historical glimpses of Wilton in a bygone era. Created in 1974 when the Smith family generously donated the land to the Wilton Land Conservation Trust. The northern most section of the Smith Preserve borders Quarry Head. Smith Preserve and Quarry Head together, give citizens of Wilton a combined area of nearly 60 acres of open space, with interconnecting trails for passive recreation and spiritual refreshment.
The Preserve, like Quarry Head, contains numerous rock outcroppings and cliffs, albeit less imposing in character. The property is part of the same geological formation as those in Quarry Head, being composed of medium to coarse grained gneiss, that extend back to the Devonian Period (about 400 million years ago). In the Harrison Smith Preserve with the rock formations exposed only at lower elevations, commercial grades of rock were undoubtedly wanting. The limited quarrying that can be seen suggest use only for local building needs such as barn foundations and bridge footings. Other past uses of the land included farming, particularly the raising of livestock. Many pasture and pen enclosures formed by stone fences attest to a once open landscape where now exists deep forest. Still in existence along the Preserve’s eastern boundary is a natural spring which more than likely provided reliable water for grazing.