The Slade Brook Valley
Slade Brook is 4.0 miles long and drains a largely forested 1630-acre watershed. Nearly a third of this watershed is protected, including the Lower Slade Brook Natural Area, Huntington Hill Wildlife Management Area, and three other conserved parcels.
Glacial Lake Hitchcock
Fifteen thousand years ago, the Lower Slade Brook Natural Area was submerged in the frigid waters of melting glaciers that created Lake Hitchcock. The steep slopes surrounding you formed as Slade Brook sliced through the lake-bottom sediments left behind when the lake drained 12,000 years ago and the Connecticut River took its place. When you reach the junction of the Waterfall Trail and the Lyme Road Connector Trail, you are standing at nearly the same elevation as the bottom of Lake Hitchcock. Modest Slade Brook demonstrates the power of moving water to sculpt away 100 feet of sediment down to the bedrock exposed at its flumes and falls. You can explore similar formations at the Rinker-Steele Natural Area two miles south of here, where Camp Brook also created such changes in its lower watershed.