Connecticut Trails Day is a misnomer. The annual celebration of the Nutmeg State’s outdoor opportunities covers two days, June 2 and 3, because Connecticut has so many great paths for hiking, horseback riding, walking, running, biking, bird-watching and just being outside.
The event is sponsored by Connecticut Forest & Park Association. Nutmeggers can participate in more than 200 free guided activities statewide or hit a trail on their own.
Guided events – from Stamford to Thompson, from Salisbury to Stonington and scores of spots in between – include hikes, educational walks, fitness walks, nature walks, runs, geocaches, letterboxing, orienteering, rock climbing, biking, horseback riding and backpacking in various levels of difficulty.
Here is a sampling of the offerings:
Bloomfield: A nature walk on the Orchard Trail to the High Orchard, through farm fields to the Auer Farm Road Orchard to look for bobolinks. Saturday from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Canton: “Having Fun with an Insect Net or What the Bugs Can Teach Us” is a hike on the Canton Land Trust’s Sun, Wind, and Woodlands preserve on Sunday from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
East Hampton: A bike ride in Airline State Park will be Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon. Bring own bicycles or rent one. No walkers.
Wethersfield: A bike ride from Wethersfield Cove to the Rock Hill Ferry Landing, 15 miles round trip. Meet at the Wethersfield Cove Ferry Landing.
Glastonbury: Connecticut Audubon Society welcomes guests on Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. for a nature walk and “I Spy” scavenger hunt at the Earle Park Trails.
Ledyard: The Thames River Basin Partnership is holding a Poquetanuck Cove Canoe and Kayak Trail adventure on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. Life jackets and pre-registration are required.
Litchfield: Geocaching – or hunting for an object using GPS and a website – will be at Prospect Mountain on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Middlefield: Participants can “letterbox” – sort of like a treasure hunt – at Highlawn Forest on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.
Plainville: “Try-a-Climb” at Pinnacle Rock and Metacomet Trail on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. No experience at rock climbing is necessary and all equipment and training will be provided by members of the Appalachian Mountain Club.
Woodbury: The Trolley Bed Preserve will be the site on Saturday from 12:30 to 2 p.m. of an outing geared toward orienteering, or finding the way using a map and compass.
A full list of activities and more information: ctwoodlands.org
Somers: A hike through Whitaker Woods and Soapstone Mountain in Shenipsit State Forest. Rain or shine. Meet at Somers Town Hall. Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon.