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Connecticut Trails Weekend: Free, Guided Hiking, Paddling, Kayaking

Peter Marteka
Contact ReporterNature's Path & Way To Go

Take a hike under the canopy of white pines within an old growth forest in Cornwall. Ride your horse through miles of the Natchaug State Forest and camp under the stars. Paddle along the Connecticut River and Selden Creek to explore Selden Neck Island.

More than 200 hikes, rides and paddling events await those participating in the annual Connecticut Trails Day Weekend organized by the Connecticut Forest & Park Association. The free, guided activities from canoeing and kayaking to hiking and horseback riding

will take place on June 3 and 4 in 130 towns across the state. Other activities include biking, bird watching, letterboxing, trail maintenance and educational walks.

Some examples:

Want to hike all day? Travel 9.5 miles along the Metacomet Trail with guides John Rek and Jeff Heath and explore Castle Craig, climb mountains and pass reservoirs; June 4 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Or looking for something shorter? Hike 6 miles on the Tunxis Trail in Barkhamsted and explore Indian Council Caves and over Pine Mountain; June 4 at 10 a.m.

Enjoy a bit of history while hiking? Alan Perrie will take hikers along the Power Dams Trail in Farmington to explore ruins of dams that once powered the industries of Unionville; June 4 at 1 p.m. Or

hike the grounds of Mercy by the Sea in Madison and learn about old trees and Native American history; June 3 at 2 p.m. at 167 Neck Road.

Is water your thing? Join Barry Gorfrain and Debbie Tedford on June 4 at 8:30 a.m. at the boat launch on Route 156 as they explore Old

Lyme's Lieutenant River in canoes and kayaks. Or explore the 40-acre Plymouth Reservoir on June 3 at 10 a.m., or the Shetucket River on June 4 at 1 p.m.

Visit ctwoodlands.org for a complete list of activities with brochures available at town/city halls, nature centers, state parks, outdoor retailer, public libraries and the CFPA headquarters at 16 Meriden Road (Route 66) in the Rockfall section of Middlefield.

Connecticut Trails Day Weekend is part of the celebration of National Trails Day established by the American Hiking Society in 1993.

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