A painted turtle rests on a birch log at the Highstead pond.

The Highstead land in Redding, Connecticut exemplifies our commitment to conservation, science, and stewardship. It comprises more than 100 beautiful acres of largely unmanaged woodland and wetland habitat as well as managed fields and meadows. This diverse landscape is connected by a 1.5-mile trail that reveals the natural and human forces that shape it.

The Highstead grounds have been intentionally managed for land preservation and research. Visitors experience first-hand how both ecologically stewarded land and unmanaged landscapes support and celebrate the aesthetic beauty of the landscape, the diversity of plants and animals, and the surprises of the changing seasons. We hope that walking the grounds evokes compassion for our planet and inspires connection with the natural world.

A place for study and appreciation

Highstead offers an array of resources and programs to enhance the visitor experience, including:

The Highstead Barn, Redding, CT

  • Our educational program, which comprises talks, demonstrations, workshops, and guided walks for visitors, collaborators, and members
  • Our brochures and printed materials, which complement the trails and property and make it easy for visitors to take self-guided tours of the grounds
  • Our timber-frame headquarters, which includes a greenhouse, a library, an herbarium, and ample space for workshops and lectures

A hub for science and ecological research

Highstead conducts long-term monitoring and research both locally and regionally; hosts and partners with academic institutions, researchers, and scholars; and synthesizes ecological topics to inform land management and educate the public. We conduct extensive ecological surveys and landscape history research on our own property and beyond.