On the weekend of June 2 and 3, Connecticut is set to host Connecticut Trails Day — the largest National Trails Day (NTD) celebration in the nation with more than 240-plus free events scheduled statewide. This annual celebration features activities for everyone, including hiking, biking, horseback riding, running, trail maintenance, kayaking, educational walks, bird watching, letterboxing, and more. These events are guided by knowledgeable volunteers from local hiking clubs, parks and recreation departments, state agencies, conservation organizations, historic groups, education programs, and land trusts.

Join Allison Archambault and members of The Discovery Center at Ridgefield on Saturday, June 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the parking lot behind the Ridgefield Guild of Artists, 34 Halpin Lane, for a leisurely flora and fauna walk along the Rail Trail. Participants will enjoy the wildflowers, learn about the many invasive plant species, and possibly see some nesting turtles. Eastern box, snapping, and wood turtles return every June to lay their eggs in the sandy surface of this old rail corridor, which is also home to deer, rabbits, groundhogs, foxes, skunks, raccoons, bobcats, and many other creatures. This program is suitable for the whole family and comfortable walking shoes, water and a camera are recommended. The rain date is Sunday, June 3 at 6:30 p.m.  

As part of NTD, a nationwide hiking initiative established by the American Hiking Society in 1993, Connecticut’s weekend-long celebration is coordinated by the Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving Connecticut’s land, trails, and natural resources. This long-standing event celebrates the state’s spectacular trails, the many joys and benefits they provide, and the countless supporters and volunteers who make them possible.

The success of Connecticut Trails Day would not be possible without strong participation by organizations like the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (CT DEEP), Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), land trusts, town agencies, outdoors-oriented businesses, hundreds of volunteers, dedicated sponsors, and CFPA.

The full listing of events can be viewed on the online directory of events and interactive map at ctwoodlands.org/TD2018DIR or in the printed 2018 Connecticut Trails Day Booklet (widely available in May). CFPA members receive their printed booklet in the mail. Free printed booklets can also be picked up (while supplies last) at the CFPA headquarters in Rockfall, as well as at select public drop points: town halls, public libraries, nature centers, state parks, and outdoor retailers.

More information is available at Connecticut Forest & Park Association, 860-346-TREE, info@ctwoodlands.org, ctwoodlands.org or Allison Archambault, 203-240-7897, aaa@warwickgroup.com, ridgefielddiscovery.org.