Guilford was settled in 1639, one of the towns of the New Haven Colony in New England. It has one of the most beautiful town greens... more » in New England and one of the largest collections of historic houses. The Henry Whitfield House (a museum) is the oldest stone house in North America. The town is 49 square miles and much has been preserved in wild spaces. The Metacomet Ridge cuts north through the town. Its high point in Guilford is Bluff Head, part of Totoket Mountain. Open spaces are owned by the Town of Guilford, the Guilford Land Conservation Trust, the South Central Water Authority, the Cockaponset State Forest and private ownership. The largest open space is West Woods in the southwestern part of the town.
Westwoods historically had been used for charcoal, agriculture and quarrying. George Cromie, the first city forester for New Haven, bought up 300 acres and sold it to the state of Connecticut in 1928 for $1. In 1963, Guiford established a Conservation Commission. In 1965, the Guilford Land Conservation Trust was established. This body was instrumental in laying out the first trails in Westwoods, pioneered by Michael Pochan and Richard Elliot. These trails opened in 1966.
The Mattabasett Trail and the (new) Menunkatuck Trail, part of the state blue trail system, run through Guilford. The New England National Scenic Trail (NET) is a 215-mile trail route established in 2009 by the Federal Government. It travels through 39 communities in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The NET is comprised primarily of the historic Mattabesett, Metacomet, and Monadnock (M-M-M) Trails. A new extention, the Menunkatuck Trail is now being established in Guilford to connect the southernmost part of the Mattabesett Trail south to the coast. less «