Know your neighbors, know your town, empower the community.

Bethany Land Trust Acquires Three Sisters Preserve

July 4, 2024
Time to read:
A stream running through a forest filled with lots of trees
Beacon Hill Brook

At the end of August, the Land Trust acquired 20 acres from Connecticut Water with funds generously donated to the Land Trust by the Zdru Family Fund. Located at 1154 Amity Road at the Naugatuck border, this parcel includes land in Bethany, Naugatuck, and Prospect.

The Beacon Hill Brook, a Class III Trout stream, runs through the lowlands portion of the property near Amity Road while the uplands portion rises almost 300 feet higher, featuring steep escarpments on both sides of a spectacular ravine.

Built as an Eagle Scout project by Ryan Hendrick of Bethany, a hiking trail loop leaves the trailhead along Route 63, crosses Beacon Hill Brook and climbs over a ridge to the bottom of the ravine. From there, it heads back to the brook past some foundations of what may have been a mill site long ago. The trail is about 0.5 mile in length, includes a short section of boardwalk, and is marked with yellow blazes.

Climbing up the steep ravine off trail will bring you to the location of a long-gone chestnut tree with three trunks that served as a reference point for Native Americans, and later the colonies. The tree was known as both the Three Sisters Tree and the Three Brothers Tree. In 1673, the New Haven Colony and the Milford Colony disputed the boundary and agreed to settle the dispute through physical combat, which apparently ended in a draw. Today, the site of that tree marks the boundary between Bethany, Naugatuck, and Prospect.

Carol Lambiase, President of the Land Trust, said, “With a Class III trout stream, striking geology, and historic significance to Native Americans, we are very grateful to the Zdru Family Fund to be given the opportunity to preserve this remarkable property.”

The Three Sisters Preserve acquisition is the latest in a series of land preservation activities of the Bethany Land Trust over the past several years. In 2016, the 36.4-acre Woodward Nature Preserve was received as a subdivision set aside followed by the purchases of the 25.2-acre Grobe Preserve in 2018 and the 6.9-acre Van Epps Preserve in 2020. In late 2022, the Land Trust received a donation of 49 acres of woodlands, streams, and historic features called Whispering Pines from Irene Stahl, who lovingly tended the land with her late husband, Carlton.

Funds received from grants and generous donors have made acquisitions at bargain sale prices a reality. In addition to our recent property acquisition activities, the Land Trust is dedicated to maintaining our preserves and easements. In fact, the exploits of our trail crew, “The Wild Bunch,” were recognized in a short piece published in the July 2023 issue of Connecticut Magazine.

The Bethany Land Trust, Inc. is a private, charitable, non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving our natural lands. The Land Trust now owns 30 properties totaling 423 acres and is steward to some 200 acres of easements. To make a tax-deductible donation to the Land Trust please visit:

This is an opinion not necessarily endorsed by the Woodbridge Town News.

Related articles