Through the ridge and swale topography of the sanctuary, hikers experience various forest communities, including mixed hardwoods dominated by oak, hickory, or hemlock. Wet areas are mostly red maple swamps.
A hawk watch, erected in 1972 and expanded in 1994, has grandstand-style seating that overlooks a valley at the base of which snakes 1-684. It might lack hot dogs and popcorn, but there is plenty of enthusiasm among the fans during the fall migration. Experts are usually on hand to identify and describe the species being seen and counted. From these bleachers, Long Island Sound is visible 10 miles away.
In 1954 Anna Butler donated 225 acres to The Nature Conservancy in memory of her husband, Arthur, a corporate lawyer. An amateur naturalist and astronomer, he had planted evergreens and laid out many of the trails in what is now the sanctuary. In 1957, the Walter Huber family added 20 acres. The purchase of additional acres increased the sanctuary to its present size.