The Merritt Family Forest (TMFF) is a 76 acre wooded open space property sloping eastward from near the summit of Fort Hill down along Route 1 to Fishtown Road–a distance of about one mile.
The main entrance is located along Fishtown Road, about 400 feet south of Route 1 (see map), where an historic bridge, consisting of three giant stone slabs, spans Eccleston Brook. Limited parking is available along the border of the brook near the stone bridge.
The MFF was acquired by the Groton Open Space Association (GOSA) in May 2008 as a permanent publicly accessible open space preserve. The MFF is the keystone of Groton’s eastern greenbelt. The greenbelt begins on the west with Bluff Point and Haley Farm, both state parks that GOSA was instrumental in saving. Together they total over 1,000 acres and, with the Mortimer Wright Preserve, are linked through the MFF to publicly and privately protected green spaces to the east. These include Pequot Woods, the former Christmas tree farm on Route 1, and to the south, Cutler Middle School land that abuts town-owned Beebe Pond Park, and Avalonia Land Conservancy tracts that continue to Beebe Cove off the Mystic River.
A reminiscence by Nelson A. Merritt
Nelson Merritt’s part in the Apollo moon mission