The Goodwin Conservation Area comprises 108 acres with 2.8 miles of trail.
In 1974 Edmund and Dorothy Goodwin donated 108 acres of land to the City of Lebanon. The property is bounded on its westerly side by the Storr’s Hill Ski Area, and Great Brook flows near its northerly boundary. According to the deed, “Goodwin Park” is to be managed and controlled by the Lebanon Conservation Commission, subject to four additional restrictions: no commercial building, recreational use only, no tree-cutting, except to develop hiking, skiing, or snowmobile trails, and no removal of gravel or minerals. The property is permanently protected under a conservation easement held by the SPNHF.
Many small boulders accent the hillside; most soils are well-drained. Small springs and several intermittent streams are located on the hillside. Small waterfalls and many potholes - some the size of bathtubs – are located near the bridge site at the School Street access. Potholes are formed in the rock streambed by the abrasive action of rocks, pebbles, and sand in the swirling water. Several good-sized wading pools are located along the stream with “Scrape Bottom” being one of the most popular on hot summer days. Streamflow is usually sufficient to maintain pool levels throughout the summer.
This forested slope is dominated by young to medium-aged northern hardwoods and hemlock with areas of thick vegetation. The hardwood vegetation is particularly well-developed upslope. Dominant trees include sugar maple, beech, yellow birch, white ash, red oak, basswood, hop-hornbeam, black-cherry, elm, butternut, red maple, quaking aspen, hemlock, and white pine. Hemlock becomes especially prominent down along the brook at the base of the hill, and some trees, particularly at the farthest upstream extent of the property, are occasionally good sized.
There are a number of species that share this characteristic of being more prominent along the immediate brook valley: wintergreen, trailing arbutus, and pipsissewa. By contrast, many of the interesting spring herbs are best developed under hardwoods: trout lily, red trillium, wild leek, blue cohosh, wild ginger, toothwort, avens, jack-in-the-pulpit, wood anemone, liverwort, pink lady slippers, and sharp-leaved hepatica. The Storr’s Hill area is a very interesting botanical spot and harbors a number of rare plants and includes at least two areas of excellent concentration of spring wildflowers. It also contains many herbs, ferns, and shrubs.
Goodwin Conservation Area is located on the north slope of Storr’s Hill, extending from Great Brook to the Townsend property. Trailhead access is located approximately 600 feet east of the Storr’s Hill ski lodge, beyond the ski jump run-out, and across a small footbridge. A second kiosk and trailhead are located along the Meriden Road with a trail down to Great Brook, noting the bridge was washed away and awaits replacement.