ROXBURY—To allow better access to the Orzech Family Preserve for hiking and cross-country skiing, the Roxbury Land Trust recently completed construction of a small parking area off Botsford Hill Road near the intersection of Route 67.

The off-road parking lot provides easy entry to the Kress Family Trail along the former railroad bed, which winds along the scenic Shepaug River. The flat trail affords superb cross-country skiing, snow shoeing and winter walking for nearly 2.5 miles one-way and connects to trails in the Golden Harvest, Erbacher and River Road preserves.

Volunteers from the land trust helped create the parking area, which will be plowed during the winter months. The lot abuts private property so hikers and skiers are requested to keep to the left side of the split rail fence and on the path to the rail bed.

The Roxbury Land Trust acquired the 112-acre Orzech preserve in 2002 as part of its Save our Farms campaign. The acquisition was funded, in part, by an Open Space grant from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. The land trust has since restored a large hilltop pasture that had become overgrown and fixed some erosion problems along the river.

Detailed maps of the trails on Orzech, Golden Harvest, Erbacher and River Road preserves—which preserve nearly 600 contiguous acres in all—are available from the Roxbury Land Trust offices at 7 South Street, as well as at the Roxbury Town Hall and Minor Memorial Library. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the preserves or the railroad bed.

The Roxbury Land Trust has preserved 3,400 acres of farmland, woodlands, wildlife habitats, watercourses, wetlands and open space in Roxbury and neighboring communities since it was established in 1970. The non-profit organization, which is governed by a volunteer board of directors and is supported by membership dues and charitable contributions, now maintains 32 preserves with 30 miles of hiking trails and three active farms, as well as offers a wide range of educational programs. For more information, visit the Web site at www.roxburylandtrust.org or call 860-350-4148.