Trails

Exploring trails at Tarrywile Park is always an adventure and an education. The trails may take you through vast open fields with spectacular views, or past natural patches of blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries, or over rugged, rocky terrain. As you hike through the woods, a turn in the path may bring an encounter with a white tail buck, chipmunk, rabbit, partridge, pheasant, or a red fox crossing your way. You may also meet other travelers on foot or even on horseback.

As you continue your exploration of the park you may be greeted by a fisherman casting into the glistening waters of Parks Pond for pumpkinseed, bullheads, panfish or kingfish. The lake is also home to frogs and various snakes as well as mallard and wood ducks, geese, and even magnificent swans. No doubt there will be a bird watcher observing many native birds such as pileated woodpeckers, hawks, turkeys, or vultures, that also make Tarrywile their home.

Along its trails, Tarrywile Park also possesses some of nature’s finest landscaping. There are majestic old trees, hillsides of Mountain Laurel, pine forests, and fields of wildflowers. In the eastern limits of the park you will discover minerals such as quartz and feldspar, or metamorphic rocks such as marble and limestone.

The trails are open to the public year round (weather permitting) and free of charge. Trail conditions vary depending on seasonal conditions and natural occurrences. Since the trails are intended for passive recreational use only, hiking or riding the trails is at the user’s own risk. Please also remember to do a tick check when you get home! Tarrywile Park is available for field trips or for use as an outdoor classroom. Please call the office at (203) 744-3130, for additional information, leave a message and someone will respond within 24 hours on weekdays.

The Historic Gardens at Tarrywile

Once known as Cedar Grove, the grounds exhibit the eclecticism common at the time if its origin, the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century: an English park-like lawn, ornamental trees, large bordered flower beds and a Japanese Garden, which also reflect the original owners interests and travels.

Today, a variety of magnificent trees, now fully mature, are the greatest asset of the property: cooper beech, ginkgo, pine, false cypress, and Japanese maple are but a few. Mock orange, hydrangeas, and lilacs frame the foundation of the house as they did in earlier years.

The flower beds, always a focal point on the plateau across from the portico were restored by the Women’s Club of Danbury New/Fairfield, Inc. from 1990 – 1992. The Albert W. and Helen C. Meserve Memorial Foundation provided the funding. Originally installed by Mrs. C.D. Parks according to a design by Mr. Joseph Fearn, an English trained gardener in the tradition of Miss Gertrude Jekyll, the series of compartments which led to a grape arbor, contained over one dozen species of perennials and family favorites including: china asters, roses, dahlias, peonies, phlox, and iris. In the 1930’s Mrs. Parks edged the compartments with low boxwoods, following the Williamsburg influence.

Ivy, myrtle, and forsythia form a backdrop to the gardens on the edge of the woods.

A Weekend at Tarrywile Park 2010 by Howard Polley