Greenwich Level Park

January 21 & 29, 2023 – Outdated Greenwich, Connecticut

Issue: Straightforward

Size: Roughly 6 path miles

Max elevation: 34 ft.

Map: Greenwich Point Park Map

Parking: 11 Tods Driftway, Old Greenwich, CT 06870

Paved parking heaps – Restrooms on web site

Hours: Open yr spherical, day by day from 6am to sundown

Charges: You’ll want a non-resident Greenwich seaside go, or Single Entry seaside go. You should purchase these on-line. You should definitely buy a go for every individual in your get together and a separate go on your automobile. Passes are $10 per day per individual and a parking go is $45.

November 1st by way of April thirtieth, no charges will probably be charged to enter Greenwich Level Park


Park Overview:

Greenwich Level Park is a 147-acre City seaside and recreation facility in Outdated Greenwich, CT. Additionally recognized by locals as “Tod’s Level,” it was the previous property of J. Kennedy Tod and lots of historic buildings nonetheless exist within the park. Amongst them are the Innis Arden Cottage, Seaside Backyard and Cowbarn Constructing, and the Chimes Constructing. Concessions, restrooms, picnic areas, and strolling trails are additionally discovered at Greenwich Level. Residence to Outdated Greenwich Yacht Membership, there’s additionally a boatyard and a launch for boats and kayaks. Greenwich Level Park is owned by the City of Greenwich and operated by Greenwich’s Parks and Recreation Division in coordination with the Conservation Fee.

Greenwich Point Park

Greenwich Level Park

Greenwich Level Park is located on the southerly aspect of Greenwich Cove. Greenwich Cove is situated between Cos Cob Harbor and Stamford Harbor within the “Outdated Greenwich” part of city. The park is actually an island, related to the mainland by a causeway which helps the park entry highway often called Tod’s Driftway.

Aerial view of Greenwich Point Park

Aerial view of Greenwich Level Park

There are seven parking heaps within the park, 5 of that are paved. The topography ranges from sea stage to a most elevation of +40 toes Above Sea Degree (ASL). The vast majority of the park lies inside 10-20 foot ASL, with three pronounced knolls rising above the encompassing panorama, within the western, central and jap parts of the park.

Greenwich Level Park is a Acknowledged Vital Fowl Space (IBA) and because of the park’s peninsular geography and the number of habitats out there, it is a vital migrant stopover habitat for a lot of species of birds. Good numbers of waterfowl winter offshore and in Eagle Pond, many raptors go the park in fall migration and the park acts as stopover habitat for a few of them.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Within the winter, the Level is a well-liked place for canine walkers to stroll their canines. Leashed canines are allowed on the Level from December 1 to March 31.


Historical past:

The Level was recognized by the Siwanoy Indians as “Monekewaygo” (shining sands). Beginnning in 1640 with the acquisition by Elizabeth Feake, the Level was often called “Elizabeth’s Neck.” Following its buy by the Tods within the 1880’s, the Level was often called “Innis Arden. Tod and his spouse, Marie Howard Potter Tod, owned the land and its property from 1884 to 1939, the yr she died. He willed the property to New York’s Presbyterian Hospital.

On January 10, 1945, the City of Greenwich bought Tod’s Level and the Innis Arden property for $550,000. Upon acquisition, the City modified the identify of the peninsula from Innis Arden (or Tod’s Level) to Greenwich Level, a designation it retains, though many proceed to name it Tod’s Level. The City made rapid adjustments to its new property, together with the renovation of the Tods’ formal walled backyard, recognized as we speak because the Seaside Backyard, by the Backyard Membership of Outdated Greenwich. As well as, the Outdated Greenwich Boating Affiliation, which later turned the Outdated Greenwich Yacht Membership, transferred its headquarters to Greenwich Level.

For a extra detailed historical past, scroll to the underside of the web page for exterior hyperlinks.


Trails Overview:

Paved Loop – Greenwich Level has a 2.25 mile paved loop that gives a scenic alternative for strolling and jogging, in addition to, curler blading, biking, and in-line skating.

Seaside Loop – Greenwich Level additionally gives a beautiful 2.35 mile seaside loop. After reducing off from Tod’s Driftway you may be on a packed sand and small stone path that enables enjoyment of the ever altering marsh.

Beach Loop – Greenwich Point Park

Seaside Loop – Greenwich Level Park

Beach Loop – Greenwich Point Park

Seaside Loop – Greenwich Level Park

Beach Loop – Greenwich Point Park

Seaside Loop – Greenwich Level Park

There are trails that get lost from each the Paved Loop and the Seaside Loop in direction of the inside of the park which can be price exploring as effectively. You’ll encounter much less folks alongside these trails.

Interior Trails – Greenwich Point Park

Inside Trails – Greenwich Level Park

On Sundays 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM from mid November to mid April the Pals of Greenwich Level in cooperation with the Greenwich Division of Parks and Recreation, sponsors Secure Roads. Guests can benefit from the open roads as all roads previous the primary parking heaps are closed to vehicular visitors. Nevertheless, an occasional automobile is permitted to go beneath sure circumstances, so please remember.

Safe Roads Sundays - Greenwich Point

Secure Roads Sundays – Greenwich Level


Hike Overview:

I had this park on my checklist for a few years, however was hesitant to go there due to the “residents-only coverage.” Little or no info was out there on-line and the park’s web site was unclear about non-residents visiting the park. Quick ahead just a few years and I discovered that: “In 1968, a Greenwich residents-only coverage was instituted on the Level, however that restriction was lifted when the Supreme Court docket of Connecticut overturned it in 2001.” They do cost a hefty charge for non-residents in season, however November 1st by way of April thirtieth, no charges are charged to enter Greenwich Level Park.

We visited this park on two consecutive weekends. On our first go to, it was fairly chilly and we caught to the westernmost part of the park, visiting the stone ruins, Seaside Backyard, and many others. We solely walked about 1.5 miles, though we drove a loop by way of the park in the beginning and picked out a spot to park. The crimson line on the map under signifies our strolling route on that day. The next week, we started on the first parking zone, simply previous the unique entrance gate and walked clockwise. The purple monitor signifies the route we walked on that day, which totaled about 3.4 miles. The terrain is usually flat with about 30-40 toes of elevation acquire.

Greenwich Point Park

Greenwich Level Park

Though we coated many of the park on our two visits, there’s extra to see that’s not listed right here. That is the kind of park that’s price visiting greater than as soon as.


Factors of Curiosity:

  • Sue H. Baker Pavilion on the Outdated Barn ~ Initially constructed by the Tods in 1887, the outdated livestock and storage barn is the oldest surviving construction at Greenwich Level. As soon as the city bought the property in 1945, the barn underwent many renovations till, eventually, it housed a concession stand, a primary support station, and lifeguard lockers.
Sue H. Baker Pavilion at the Old Barn

Sue H. Baker Pavilion on the Outdated Barn

In 2012, Superstorm Sandy pummeled the shoreline with 80 miles per hour winds and tidal floods. Whereas the barn had already been slated for renovation by the Greenwich Level Conservancy, completion of the $650,000 undertaking turned pressing. In 2015, the renovated construction was renamed the Sue H. Baker Pavilion on the Outdated Barn in honor of the co-founder of the Conservancy.

Sue H. Baker Pavilion at the Old Barn

Sue H. Baker Pavilion on the Outdated Barn


  • Innis Arden Cottage ~ In 1903, the Tods added a visitor cottage simply south of the entry highway to their property. Innis Arden Cottage was constructed to offer a short lived house for Maria Tod’s widowed sister-in-law, Mrs. Cranston Potter, and her three younger daughters. The ladies attended the all-girl faculty, Rosemary Corridor, in Rock Ridge for a short while earlier than the household returned to their house within the state of Washington.
Innis Arden Cottage

Innis Arden Cottage

From 1906 by way of 1913, the Tods made the Cottage out there as a summer season retreat for Anna C. Maxwell and her nursing college students from the New York Presbyterian Hospital. Maxwell, also known as the “American Florence Nightingale,” carried out pioneering work within the improvement of the nursing career. The Tods’ assist of the hospital, and Maxwell specifically, most likely derives from J. S. Kennedy’s tenure as president of the hospital’s board of administrators. Moreover donating a million {dollars} to ascertain a nursing faculty on the hospital (now often called the Columbia College College of Nursing), Kennedy additionally advisable Maxwell to be its first director. Maxwell was one of many first ladies to be buried with full army honors at Arlington Nationwide Cemetery.

Innis Arden Cottage

Innis Arden Cottage

From the again of  Innis Arden Cottage, wanting barely northeast, about 1.5 miles away, the Stamford Harbor Ledge Lighthouse is seen on a transparent day. The sparkplug lighthouse was in-built 1882 and was manufactured in Boston. It was added to the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations in 1991.

Stamford Harbor Ledge Lighthouse

Stamford Harbor Ledge Lighthouse


  • Unique Entrance Gate ~ The unique entrance gate to Innis Arden, the 147-acre property of Mr. and Mrs. J.Kennedy Tod. It’s situated between Innis Arden Cottage and The Outdated Barn. The Gate Lodge which was in-built 1887, was destroyed by hearth in 1904.
Original Entrance Gate

Unique Entrance Gate

A plaque mounted on one of many stone columns, particulars a number of the historical past of the constructions situated throughout the park.

Original Entrance Gate

Unique Entrance Gate


  • 375th Anniversary Plaque ~ On Founders’ Day, July 18, 2016, the city connected a commemorative bronze plaque to a small boulder on the bluff on the southeastern tip of the Level. The plaque incorporates a duplicate of the unique deed to the land they now name Outdated Greenwich.
375th Anniversary Plaque

375th Anniversary Plaque

The plaque additionally incorporates the city’s coat-of-arms designed in 1940. The design incorporates a windmill representing the city’s early Dutch affect, a horse’s head for Horseneck (an early identify for the land between the Mianus and Byram Rivers), a plow for the agricultural historical past of the founders, a ship from the coat-of-arms of Greenwich, England, and a clamshell representing the early maritime commerce within the city.

375th Anniversary Plaque

375th Anniversary Plaque


  • Eagle Pond ~ As you head farther out on the Level, you come to the northern land bridge at Eagle Pond; throughout the Pond is the southern land bridge. Tod created each to attach the 2 islands. Tod thought-about himself a naturalist and constructed the Pond as a chicken sanctuary, populated by swans, pelicans, and geese.
Eagle Pond

Eagle Pond

View over Eagle Pond in direction of the Lengthy Island Sound from the Innis Arden Home Web site. The skinny strip of land between the Pond and the Lengthy Island Sound, is the southern land bridge.

Eagle Pond

Eagle Pond

View of Eagle Pond from Mansion Street.

Eagle Pond

Eagle Pond

The Pond takes its identify from the eagle sculpture that Tod put in in 1905 on the small island on the southern aspect of the Pond. Native Stamford sculptor and New York hotelier James Knowles created a brand new bronze eagle for the island in 1979 by way of the generosity of Helen Binney Kitchel.

Eagle Pond

Eagle Pond

Ospreys construct a stick nest on high of the 14-foot wingspan of the eagle every year from which they will simply see their enemies approaching. The sculpture and nest are greatest considered from the jap aspect of the pond.

Eagle statue

Eagle statue


  • The Holly Grove ~ Mr. and Mrs. Allan Farrand Kitchel donated twenty-one completely different species of holly to the city in 1959 in celebration of their fiftieth wedding ceremony anniversary. In 2016, the Pals of Greenwich Level, in celebration of their sixtieth anniversary, started working with the city to revive the Holly Grove. Along with clearing brush, trimming bushes, and planting new hollies, they rebuilt the doorway submit with a brand new signal.
The Holly Grove

The Holly Grove


  • Innis Arden Home Web site ~ J. Kennedy Tod was among the many rich elite of New York who made the Connecticut coast their playground. Quickly after he married Maria Howard Potter, whereas residing in NYC, they started buying acreage on the Level on which they deliberate to construct their summer season cottage. By 1887, they’d secured title to many of the peninsula. By 1889, the home was full.
Innis Arden House - Courtesy of Greenwich Historical Society

Innis Arden Home – Courtesy of Greenwich Historic Society

The fashion of the manor home was eclectic and uniquely suited to the positioning. It was designed within the Excessive Victorian Gothic and American Romanesque kinds. Thirty European stonemasons, having been delivered to America particularly for this work, constructed the 37-room mansion and its environment.

Innis Arden House - Courtesy of Greenwich Historical Society

Innis Arden Home – Courtesy of Greenwich Historic Society

This magnificent home needed to be torn down in 1962 because it wanted in depth repairs and required extra money, time, and a spotlight than the general public coffers might present.

Courtesy of Greenwich Historical Society

Courtesy of Greenwich Historic Society

The stone mansion and property constructed by railroad tycoon J. Kennedy Tod was the peak of seaside luxurious. Tod, who was born in Glasgow, Scotland, named it Innis Arden, Gaelic for the excessive meadows.

Innis Arden House Site

Innis Arden Home Web site

Mr. and Mrs. Tod had no kids. They handed away on this home in 1925 and 1939, respectively. After Mrs. Tod handed, the property was in the end given to the NY Presbyterian Hospital to web site a convalescent hospital.

Innis Arden House Site

Innis Arden Home Web site

The City of Greenwich bought the property in 1945 and, subsequently, transformed the mansion into 13 residences for returning WWII veterans. Lease was nominal. Roughly 30 veterans’ households lived within the former mansion over the following 15 years. Solely the “tower” and a part of the inspiration stay.

Innis Arden House Site

Innis Arden Home Web site

Innis Arden House Site

Innis Arden Home Web site

The view over Eagle Pond and past.

Innis Arden House Site

Innis Arden Home Web site

The paved highway main from the Innis Arden Home.

Innis Arden House Site

Innis Arden Home Web site

Innis Arden House Site

Innis Arden Home Web site

Stone steps on Mansion Street, by the west aspect of Eagle Pond.

Innis Arden House Site

Innis Arden Home Web site

Mansion Street.

Innis Arden House Site

Innis Arden Home Web site

Mansion Street.

Innis Arden House Site

Innis Arden Home Web site


  • The Seaside Backyard ~ As talked about earlier, J. Kennedy Tod joined two islands collectively. The island to the west has twin peaks. The Seaside Backyard occupies the northern peak and Innis Arden Home, the southern peak. The Tods commissioned Marian Cruger Coffin to design and construct the walled backyard in 1918.
The Seaside Garden

The Seaside Backyard

In 1945, the Backyard Membership of Outdated Greenwich restored Mrs. Tod’s walled backyard. In 1964, the Knollwood Backyard Membership assumed accountability for the care and preservation of the backyard.

The Seaside Garden

The Seaside Backyard

The Seaside Garden

The Seaside Backyard


  • Shell Seaside ~ is a strip of shoreline that’s coated in sea shells alongside the westernmost part of the park.
Shell Beach

Shell Seaside

Shell Beach

Shell Seaside


  • Views ~ Surrounded by water on three sides, Greenwich Level Park, on a transparent day, affords magnificent views of the Lengthy Island Sound, with the New York Metropolis skyline to the southwest. To the north there are views over Greenwich Cove.
New York City skyline

New York Metropolis skyline

Long Island Sound

Lengthy Island Sound

Views are just about in every single place you stroll. Beneath is a view of Eagle Pond from the southern finish of Mansion Street.

Eagle Pond

Eagle Pond


  • Wildlife ~ Formally designated an Vital Fowl Space, Greenwich Level Park, is a good place to observe birds yr spherical. Migrating songbirds, shorebirds, flycatchers, hawks and extra cease by in spring and fall, quite a lot of waterfowl feed within the waters of Lengthy Island Sound within the winter, and summer season brings breeding birds and waders.

On our go to we noticed quite a lot of waterfowl and loads of seagulls, however the prize was watching a Bald Eagle soar overhead and land in a tree by the parking zone close to the unique entrance gate, shortly after we arrived.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle


Evaluate:

This park is totally beautiful and the quantity of those who flock right here, even in winter, confirms it. On our first go to, it was within the low to mid 30’s and I used to be fairly shocked at how many individuals had been strolling round. Though there have been many individuals out strolling, fairly just a few with their leashed canines, it by no means felt crowded. Foot visitors is usually concentrated alongside the paved paths/roads. There’s a lot to see and {photograph} right here, so convey your digicam and test it out for your self.

Execs:

Scenic panorama, historic options, beautiful views, serene surroundings.

Cons: 

Hefty charges in season for non-residents, attracts crowds year-round.


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