Overview & Map
Trail Map: Oil Mill Brook Trail
The Oil Mill Brook Trail is an easy trail through Land Trust land and State Forest and is a cross-over between Jefferson Park Road and Rt. 79. The trail crosses Oil Mill Brook twice, skirts a wetland and passes through a fine example of oak-hickory forest under management. Because the trail joins the northern trailhead of the Jefferson Park Trail, an extended hike is possible.
Category: An easy, relatively short trail with two small loops
Start: At Trailhead 1 on Jefferson Park Rd
Distance: About 0.6 mile, one way
Approximate Time: 1 hour from Trailheads 1 to 2 and return
Parking: At the cul-de-sac on Jefferson Park Rd
What to look for along the Oil Mill Brook Trial
From the trailhead, go east on Land Trust land across a small wetland and then pass through a forest of beech, oaks and red maple with mixtures of yellow and black birch and hickories. The trail skirts a wetland to the south and then enters State Forest. Follow the blue blazes carefully as many other paths cross the trail.
Soon the trail divides at the base of the first of two loops. The south (right) branch passes through a sapling thicket of young black birch, beech, oaks, and red maples that have developed in areas opened during earlier timber harvests. This block of state forest is under active management, and was thinned to stimulate tree regeneration. The left (north) branch is passed up and will be taken on return.
The two sides of the loop rejoin by an old hemlock snag. Continue east, through a stone wall, and ascend and cross a low knoll dominated by large tulip-poplar and oaks. Cross Oil Mill Brook (sometimes dry in mid-summer), which here flows northward out of a small pond lined with skunk cabbage, sedges and grasses, and ferns. A few yards to the east, the trail divides once again at the base of the second loop. Take the south branch (sharp right) through another stone wall, and over a gentle knoll. Once across the knoll, turn north (left) along an old woods road; the loop trail joins the woods road in a few yards. Continue along the road, cross Oil Mill Brook (this time flowing south). Some white pines in the understory here add diversity and winter cover for birds.
PLEASE NOTE: Hunting, camping, fires, cutting trees or vegetation, horses, and motorized vehicles are all prohibited on Madison Land Conservation Trust property.
MLCT trails and properties are for hiking only. Dogs are allowed, but must be leashed. Please pick up all animal waste.