The Bassett Preserve, donated in the 1980s by Harry and Dorothy Bassett, is 112 acres in total, and serves up an energizing outing for hikers of all skills.
The western trail portions provide easy hiking through oak forest, while the east is rugged with exposed ledge and boulders. The low-lying areas are densely vegetated with trees, shrubs and groundcover. Mountain Laurel abounds and brooks and streams flow throughout the property. Crisscrossing every quadrant are the numerous stonewalls, reminders of over 200 years of agricultural use that alternated between logging, grazing and food crops. Today these same stonewalls provide shelter to hibernating salamanders and snakes, offer cover for chipmunks and other small animals, as well as direct watercourses.
The southeast portion of the trail also passes the foundation ruins of a sawmill and commercial laundry operated by the Gilbert Family who owned the land from 1752 until 1940. The land has a rich history of commercial and agricultural use. Several trails, mostly level, go through wooded property of babbling brooks, native wildflowers, and the very unusual ruins of a commercial laundry from the mid-1800s.
Access to the Red Trail (less than a mile in length) is off Gilbert Road. A small area for parking is located here. The entrance point to the Blue-blazed Trail is located in the Purchase section of Southbury at the cul-de-sac on Turrill Brook Road. The Blue-blazed trail is just under three miles.