Hawk Hill Farm Preserve

This 45-acre Hawk Hill Farm Preserve in Bloomfield protects scenic vistas of Hartford, forest, wetlands, and 23 acres of farmland with an historic barn. Nestled among additional farms, the town’s LaSalette Park, and Duncaster Scenic Road, the preserve is part of a 250-acre agricultural and wildlife corridor in a suburban town still rich in farming history.

Wintonbury Land Trust purchased the property from developers in 2015 and partnered with the Town of Bloomfield, which now holds an easement on the site, to guarantee it remains open space and working farmland. The acquisition was made possible by grants from the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection’s Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition program, US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, 1772 Foundation, and Bafflin Foundation.

Hawk Hill Farm is one of the oldest continuously operating farms in Bloomfield, dating back to 1746. Multiple generations of the Kelly family operated the farm from the 1860’s to the 1980’s. An historic 1870’s, bank-style barn of rough sawn post and beam construction remains at the road, and fields across the street that once were part of the farm form the Land Trust’s Stout Family Fields Preserve.

Today the Land Trust leases the farm to HighlandArt Farm in Bloomfield, providing a home and pasture for their Scottish highland cattle herd and distribution point for their Community Supported Agriculture program. Private donations funded a series of stabilization and restoration projects (e.g. shoring up posts, replacing siding, reconstructing the milk house, adding electricity, etc.) so the barn again can store hay and winter cattle. A grant from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture funded restoration of the fields at Hawk Hill and Stout Family Fields (e.g. grass seeding, invasive plant removal, erosion control, etc.) so they may provide pastures for the herd.

The farm also includes an easy, one-mile walking loop from the barn on Duncaster Road that connects to trails in the adjacent LaSalette Park with views of the Hartford skyline and Metacomet Range. Plans call for the trail to become part of the LaSalette Trail, a regional walking trail that will connect Filley Park in the center of town to the New England Scenic Trail in Penwood State Park.