Connecticut Trails Day 2011
Get Back to Nature with Organized Hikes and Walks
Connecticut Trails Day is usually the first weekend on June. There were 193 events across the state in 2011; these can be found at the Connecticut Forest & Parks Association CT Trails Day website.
Hiking with kids is different from hiking with adults. Check out our article "Tips to Remember When Hiking with Kids"—written by a real-live 9-year-old.
The Great Park Pursuit
Family-Friendly Hikes for CT Trails Day 2011--June 4th and 5th
- Bethlehem's Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden is hosting a family-friendly, easy, 1.2 mile stroll on the Bellamy Preserve's Carolyn Ferriday Nature Trail and visit the Ferriday House & Garden on June 4th from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Take a family-friendly nature walk of the Bellamy Preserve's Caroline Ferriday Nature Trail and the Ferriday Garden Landscape led by Mary Hawvermale, President of the Bethlehem Land Trust, and Kristin Havill, Site Administrator of the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden. The guided walk will explore the history, habitats and species of trees and animals on these two contiguous properties preserved in perpetuity by their last private owner, Carolyn Ferriday, a founder of the Bethlehem Land Trust. Part of CT Forest & Park Association's Trails Day. Free. Meet at the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden Visitor Center located at 9 Main Street North (intersection of Route 132 and Route 61). Heavy rain postpones to June 5th, 1 PM. Pre-registration is strongly recommended. Questions and to Register: contact Kristin Havill (203) 266-7596, email@example.com No pets.
- Beardsley Zoo is hosting an educational walk around Beardsley Park in Bridgeport. On Saturday, June 4th from 12:00 p.m to 1:00 p.m., take an educational nature walk that may include some slight uphill areas and obstacles, through Bridgeport's historic Beardsley Park. Led by Zoo staff, this 2-3 mile walk will explore the wildlife and history of this 133-year-old park, which was designed by noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead. The walk will last approximately 45 minutes and does not include Zoo admission. Meet at the Zoo ticket booth after parking for free in the zoo parking lot. For more information, contact Tracy Benham at 203-330-6046 or firstname.lastname@example.org No pets.
- Danbury's Bear Mountain Reservation is home to a family and leashed-dog-friendly letterboxing adventure available 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, June 4th. Learn about the plants, animals, and geology of Bear Mountain Reservation on a 1-2 mile hike with slight inclines and possibly a few obstacles to get around. Each family will follow clues in a booklet to search for hidden containers called letterboxes. Leaders Lin Murray and Kim Botelho will distribut the booklets near the JFK Hiking Trails sign at the entrance to the red trail. Sponsored by the Danbury Conservation Commission. Heavy rain postpones to June 5, 10 AM. Pre-registration is not necessary. Questions: conact Lin Murray (203) 746-2123
- Derby is hosting letterboxing and a clean up day Saturday, June 4th at Osbornedale State Park from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. that is family friendly, easy,and can include leashed dogs. Participants are welcome to come by at any point during the cleanup hours. Bring gloves and water. Garbage bags will be provided. Search for hidden letterboxes before or after the cleanup. Clues will be provided. Meet by Pickett's Pond. Sponsored by WalkCT/Connecticut Forest & Park Association (walkct.org). Heavy rain cancels. Pre -registration is not necessary. Questions: contact Lori Brant, email@example.com (860) 346-2372 prior to the day of the event.
- Fairfield's Audubon Center invites you to take a leisurely, guided, 1.5-mile hike through the Connecticut Audubon Society's Larsen Sanctuary on Saturday, June 4th at 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Discover its temperate deciduous forest ponds, a garden marsh, meadow, and swamp. There will be time to explore an old foundation and visit Deer Meadow Hawk Observation Platform. Varied terrain of easy to moderate difficulty will be encountered. Meet in the Nature Store and end with a complementary cup of Shade Grown Organic Certified coffee. Sponsored by Connecticut Audubon Society (ctaudubon.org). Heavy rain cancels. Pre-registration is RECOMMENDED. Questions and to register: contact Joan Winter, (203) 259-6305 x109, firstname.lastname@example.org. No pets.
- Monroe is hosting an educational 1- to 2-mile adventure for beginning to experienced hikers and families, who can bring leashed dogs, on Saturday, June 4. 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Webb Mountain Park. The walk will highlight a mixed upland forest composed of oak, maple, hemlock, birch, yellow poplar, other wetland species, and seasonal streams as we traverse the trails of Webb Mountain Park, which was listed as one of the area's top getaway locations in the Connecticut Post. Meet at the Webb Mountain Discovery Zone parking lot (71 Webb Circle); we will shuttle to the park from there. Sponsored by Town of Monroe. Rain or shine. Pre-registration is NOT NECESSARY. Questions: contact leader, David Solek, (203) 452-2830. The trails should be moderate with some slight inclines and occassional obstacles.
- Sticks and Stones Farm in Newtown is hosting an event on June 4th from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Come and experience a fun 1.5-mile hike where you will get a chance to taste some of the most delicious wild and garden plants, explore our moss mountain, walk our labyrinth, and participate in an open house celebration and tour of our farm. There is something for everyone at Sticks and Stones Farm (201 Huntingtown Road)-learn more about our many offerings from children's nature and camp programs to organic vegetables, weekend retreats, and yoga. Sponsored by Sticks and Stones Farm (sticksandstonesfarm.com). Heavy rain postpones to June 5, 11:00 a.m. Pre-registration is NOT NECESSARY. Questions: contact leader, Justin Pegnataro, (203) 270-8820, email@example.com. No pets.
- Saturday, June 4. 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. At Norwalk River Valley Trail on Saturday, June 4th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., choose to walk (3 miles/2 hours) or bike (5 miles/1 hour) with leaders Dan Landau and Jim Carter along the completed section of this trail, which features Lockwood Mathews Mansion, The Maritime Center, and the lower Norwalk River along the way. Walkers should wear comfortable sneakers; bikers need to wear a helmet. Walkers meet at Lockwood Mathews Park behind the mansion; bikers meet at Union Park. Sponsored by Norwalk River Valley Trail (www.nrvt-trail.com). Heavy rain cancels. Pre-registration is NOT NECESSARY. Questions: contact Dan Landau, (203) 847-1600, firstname.lastname@example.org. Leashed dogs are allowed and the walk should be easy.
- Oxford is hosting a moderate hike on Pomperaug Trail on Saturday, June 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. that may include slight inclines and obstacles that is family and leashed-dog friendly. This 2.3-mile hike follows along a Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail that is part of the Housatonic Greenway and traverses scenic hills along the Housatonic River. We will pass old charcoal pits, small waterfalls, and enjoy beautiful New England forest. Bring beverage, snacks-lunch, insect repellant, and good walking shoes. Meet Peter Petrochko and Scott Roth at the far end of the Jackson's Cove parking area. Sponsored by Oxford Land Trust (oxfordlandtrust.org). Heavy rain postpones to June 5, 2:00 p.m. Pre-registration is NOT NECESSARY. Questions: contact Peter Petrochko, (203) 888-9835, email@example.com.
- Redding's Huntington State Park on Sunday, June 5th from 2:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m will have a family-friendly and leashed-dog friendly, easy hike. Bring out the kids for a 4-mile hike around this lovely park, where we will pass by lakes, the split rock, babbling streams, and Hawk Lookout. This is hike #6 in the complete Hikes of Redding series. Ice cream will be served afterwards at the church hall onRoute 58/Cross Highway. Meet at the main park entrance on Sunset Hill Road, by the bear statues. Sponsored by Connecticut Forest & Park Association (ctwoodlands.org), Appalachian Mountain Club (ct-amc.org), and Christ Church. Heavy rain cancels. Pre-registration is NOT NECESSARY. Questions: contact leader, Eric Stones, (203) 797- 9175
- Jones Family Farm in Shelton is hosting a teen-friendly walk with gentle slopes from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Saturday, June 4th. Join us for a Farm Heritage Hike through the historic Homestead Farm to explore the 150-year history of the Jones family and their land in the White Hills of Shelton. Enjoy scenic views, rambling stone walls, and a wide variety of plant and animal life. Recommended for ages 12 and up; participants are encouraged to bring a water bottle. Meet outside the Jones Winery (606 Walnut Tree Hill Road). Sponsored by Jones Family Farms (JonesFamilyFarms.com). Heavy rain cancels. Pre-registration is REQUIRED. Questions and to register: contact leader, Shannon Murray, firstname.lastname@example.org. No pets.
- Audubon Center at Bent of the River in Southbury welcomes you to an easy, family-friendly hike on June 4th, from 9:00 a.m to 11:00 a.m. Join us for a 1.5-mile hike and an introduction to the birds at the Bent of the River. Learn to identify our nesting species by sight and sound. Please bring binoculars, a limited number will be available from the leader. Meet at the entrance parking lot at 185 East Flat Hill Road. Sponsored by Audubon Center at Bent of the River (bentoftheriver.audubon.org). Pre-registration is RECOMMENDED. Questions, rain plan, and to register: contact leader, Ken Elkins, (203) 264-5098, email@example.com No pets.
- Enjoy Southbury at Kettletown State Park by taking the blue-blaze Miller Trail hike with slight inclines and some obstacles on Sunday, June 5th from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Take a 2-mile hike on a loop trail, which follows old woods roads through rolling wooded terrain. We will pass many old stone walls and a charcoal hearth site, cross a log bridge over a stream, and have an opportunity to take a side trip to an overlook of Lake Zoar. Not stroller friendly. Meet at the Miller Trail trailhead; from the main gate of Kettletown State Park, continue into the park, taking a right at every fork until coming to the trailhead on the right in about 0.5 miles. Sponsored by Connecticut Forest & Park Association (ctwoodlands.org). Heavy rain cancels. Pre-registration is NOT NECESSARY. Questions: contact leader, Bob McGarry, (203) 264-9028, firstname.lastname@example.org. This is also part of the Great Parks Pursuit Hiking Day from the No Child Left Inside initiative and qualifies for a hiking stamp in the Great Park Pusuit Passport which can be obtained during this event or downloaded.
- Another Southbury event at Kettletown State Park will occur on Saturday, June 4 in the morning from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Cub Scouts from Pack 15 will be hiking and cleaning debris found along the Miller Trail. We will cover 2 miles of trail, beginning at the start of Miller Trail next to youth campground. Sponsored by Pack 15 Cub Scouts. Heavy rain cancels. Pre-registration is NOT NECESSARY. Questions: contact leader, Rick Lynch, email@example.com. The hike will be easy with mostly level terrain and few obstacles. This is family friendly. No pets.
- Kettletown State Park in Southbury is the site of another family and leashed-dog friendly hike on Saturday, June 4th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. This hike will be moderate in difficulty and cover the blue-blaze Pomperaug Crest and Brook Trails. Come on a 4-mile loop hike and enjoy views of Lake Zoar, pass the site of a charcoal hearth, and see many old stone walls. We will follow rolling wooded terrain with possibly a few short scrambles on a rocky outcrop. Not stroller friendly. Meet at the ticket booth at the main gate of Kettletown State Park. Sponsored by Connecticut Forest & Park Association (ctwoodlands.org). Heavy rain cancels. Pre-regis- tration is NOT NECESSARY. Questions: contact leader, Bob McGarry, (203) 264-9028, firstname.lastname@example.org. This is also part of the Great Parks Pursuit Hiking Day from the No Child Left Inside initiative and qualifies for a hiking stamp in the Great Park Pusuit Passport which can be obtained during this event or downloaded.
- Mill River Park in Stamford is the location of an easy educational walk on Saturday, June 4 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Join Nia Rhodes Jackson and Milton Puryear and walk the length of the future Mill River Park and Greenway. The 2+-mile walk will be from Stamford's Scalzi Park to Kosciuszko Park on Long Island Sound. Along the way we will discuss the restoration efforts underway to develop this outdoor space. Meet at the Scalzi Park side of the footbridge over the river, adjacent to the Wright Tech parking lot and across the river from the Woodside Fire Station. Sponsored by Mill River Collaborative (www.millriverpark.com). Heavy rain cancels. Pre- registration is NOT NECESSARY. Questions: contact Nia Rhodes Jackson, email@example.com. The walk is family friendly and allows leashed dogs.
- Bring your family to Stamford Museum & Nature Center for a great 1.5-mile adventure, the Birds, Bugs, & Beasts Hike on Sunday, June 5th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. We will hike some of our best trails and learn about interesting animal inhabitants. We will search the sky with ears and eyes for our resident pileated wood- peckers, stop by our vernal pools to visit with spotted salamanders, and more. Meet at the Overbrook Nature Center building (at 39 Scofieldtown Road); no entrance fee will be charged for participants of this hike arriving after 5:00 p.m. Sponsored by Stamford Museum & Nature Center (stamfordmuseum.org). Heavy rain cancels. Pre-registration is NOT NECESSARY. Questions: contact leader, Lisa Monachelli, (203) 977-6515, firstname.lastname@example.org. No pets
- Enjoy a 6-mile hiking tour at Stamford's Mianus River Park led by certifed hike leaders from the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), Connecticut chapter on Sunday, June 5th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Hikers of all skill levels are welcome; we will encounter easy ups and downs, although exposed tree roots will cover some trails. Bring water, lunch, and bug repellent. Hikers can leave early, if necessary; no toddlers please. Meet in the parking lot near the Red Barn at the end of Merriebrook Lane (Stamford). Sponsored by Friends of the Mianus River Park (friendsofmianusriverpark.org). Heavy rain cancels. Pre-registration is RECOMMENDED. Questions and to register: contact Peter Sofman, email@example.com. No pets.
- Experience the less-traveled charms of Trumbull's "valley" on this 4.5-mile loop, moderate difficulty hike at Pequannock Valley Greenway on Saturday, June 4th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Bring water and lunch or snack; hiking boots and long pants bly recommended. End time may vary. Meet John Russell and Frank Grazynski at the upper parking lot of Indian Ledge Park. Sponsored by Trumbull Nature & Arts Center (trumbullnaturecenter.org). Pre-registration is RECOMMENDED. Questions, rain plan, and to register: contact Trumbull Nature & Arts Center, (203) 452-4421. No pets.
- On Saturday, June 4th, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., celebrate Connecticut Trails Day with your family as we explore the many ways to enjoy a walk outdoors at Earthplace-The Nature Discovery Center in Westport. Our naturalists will be on site to open your eyes, ears, and noses to delights and surprises, such as bird songs, signs of animals, and distinctive scents. We will have scavenger hunts, make trail maps, and learn compass skills and how to read the landscape. Meet at the Earthplace Museum Building (10 Woodside Lane). Sponsored by Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center (earthplace.org). Rain or shine. Pre-registration is NOT NECESSARY. Questions: contact leader, Margaret Ardwin, (203) 227-7253 x106, firstname.lastname@example.org. No pets.