In spite of his international renown for both acting and philanthropy -- or perhaps because of it -- Paul Newman enjoyed the sanctuary provided by the natural beauty and quiet of woodlands near his Westport home.
He donated a large tract of that property to the Aspetuck Land Trust, and it has been preserved as public open space in what is the only public memorial approved by the late actor's family in his name.
Newman's land donation off Bayberry Lane, combined with land sold to the town by Lillian Poses, a neighbor and friend who worked in Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration and one of the first women to graduate from NYU Law School, comprises the 39-acre site now known as the Newman-Poses Preserve.
On June 12, the land trust plans a birding hike through the preserve, but the event already is fully subscribed.
But people are welcome to hike the property at other times, according to the trust.
The preserve entrance is between Nos. 307 and 313 Bayberry Lane, north of Easton Road/Route 136. There is a three-vehicle parking lot. If the lot is full, visitors can park at the turn off at the intersection of Easton Road/Route 136 and Bayberry Lane and walk 500 feet north to the entrance.
Aspetuck Land Trust offers a variety of guided hikes through its land holdings in Westport, Weston, Fairfield and Easton for adults and children each month, as well as special events for members only.
The trust maintains 44 nature preserves with trails and other conservation-only properties on more than 1,700 acres of land. The group has more than 1,000 members.
For more information visit www.aspetucklandtrust.org.