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Field Trips and Workshops
2018 ScheduleField trips arranged by Gail Reynolds, CBS Field Trip Chair
Field trips are a long-standing tradition of the Connecticut Botanical Society. They provide an opportunity to learn about Connecticut's plants and habitats from some of the area's most knowledgeable botanists -- and an opportunity to share your own knowledge with others. The trips also add to knowledge of the state's flora. On each field trip, we make a list of all plant species we have identified, and this list becomes part of the Society's records.
For the field trips, wear sturdy footwear and bring a lunch. Sunscreen and insect repellant are also recommended. For plant identification, you may want to bring field guide(s), a hand lens, and a small notebook. Familiarity with plant taxonomy is helpful, but not required.
We have labeled a few trips as “family friendly,” based on the location and whether leaders thought inviting children was appropriate. This designation doesn’t mean that there is special programming for kids, only that it's okay to bring them if you think they might be interested.
Non-members are welcome to join our field trips. No registration is required, unless otherwise stated in the trip description.
April 28, 9:00 AM (Saturday)
This trip is full!
Emerald Ash Borer Seminar, CT Forest and Park Association
Update on emerald ash borer in Connecticut, given by Dr. Claire Rutledge of the CT Agricultural Experiment station. Reserve a spot by emailing Sigrun Gadwa at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
From the north: Take I-91 South to Exit 20. Turn left at the end of the ramp onto Middle Street and then left again onto Country Club Road. After 1.1 miles, turn right onto Higby Road. Take Higby Road for 1.2 miles and then take a left at the first light onto Route 66/Meriden Road. CFPA is 0.8 miles on the left. Our driveway is directly across from Harvest Woods Road.
From the south: Take I-91 north to Middletown, Exit 18. Follow Route 66 about 4 miles, past reservoir and Agway. CFPA is 0.3 miles on the left after the Route 217 junction. Our driveway is directly across from Harvest Woods Road.
From the east: Cross Portland Bridge over the Connecticut River on Route 66 west. Follow Route 66 for approximately 3 miles (take right soon after bridge to stay on 66). CFPA is about 0.5 miles past the Wendy's and shopping center on your right. Our driveway is directly across from Harvest Woods Road.
From the west: Take Route 66 east (same as I-691) past Meriden towards Middletown. Follow Route 66 past reservoir and Agway. CFPA is 0.3 miles on the left after the Route 217 junction. Our driveway is directly across from Harvest Woods Road.
May 19 (Saturday) 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Rain date: May 20 (Sunday) 11:00 a.m.
Candlewood Hill Wildlife Management Area, Groton
We'll explore the 201-acre wildlife management area owned by the CT DEEP, located in central Groton on historic Candlewood Hill. Approximately 44 acres of this property comprise an exposed rocky ridge top, with ~2000-2500 pitch pines (Pinus rigida) with co-dominant mountain chestnut oaks (Quercus montana) and an understory of scrub oaks (Q. ilicifolia). This pitch pine/chestnut oak/scrub oak woodland is considered one of the most threatened terrestrial habitats in Connecticut. It is also one of the largest if not the largest pitch pine barren in Connecticut. Most pitch pine barrens are located on sandy or gravelly terrain left by retreating glaciers. Ridge-top pitch pine barrens are an even rarer subtype of pitch pine barren. At over 300 feet high, this site is one of the highest in Groton, providing winter views of Long Island Sound.
Beneath the scrub oaks there is a nearly unbroken thicket of black huckleberry (Gaylussacia baccata) with unusually sweet berries. Almost invisibly mixed in with the huckleberry are large numbers of two lesser known shadbushes, the Nantucket shadbush (Amelanchier nantucketensis) and the dwarf shadbush (A. spicata) which will probably be in bloom at the time of the field trip. Several taller shad bushes are also present. Common lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium), hillside blueberry (V. pallidum), eastern spicy-wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), and pink lady’s-slipper (Cypripedium acaule) occur beneath the huckleberry.
This site is one of the most spectacular places in the region for hiking and natural history. Old Granite quarries, hanging wetlands, pristine streams and vernal pools add historic and scientific interest.
Moderate terrain. We recommend sturdy, closed walking shoes and long pants to protect against ticks.
From Center Groton (intersection of Rt. 117 with Rt.184) travel east 0.55 mile on Rt. 184. Park on the slightly inclined grassy shoulder on the right side of the road.
May 26 (Saturday) 10:00 a.m., rain or shine
Massacoe State Forest (Great Pond block), Simsbury
This section of Massacoe State Forest is a 297-acre parcel that includes the 36-acre Great Pond, the town's largest body of water, as well as Great Pond Brook. A network of trails circles Great Pond, passing through forest and wetlands, and crisscrosses a utility ROW, for a variety of habitats.
From the intersection of Route 167 (West St.) and Route 202 in Simsbury, proceed west on Route 167 (West St.) for 0.2 mile and turn right on Firetown Road. Follow Firetown Road for 0.8 mile and turn left onto Great Pond Road. Follow Great Pond Road for 1.6 miles and turn right into forest. Proceed to parking area.
May 27 (Sunday) 1:00 p.m.
Burlingame Management Area, Charlestown, RI
We’ll be exploring the north end of Burlingame, between Watchaug Pond and Buckeye Brook Road. This area is predominantly Mixed Oak/Hickory Forest. However, the terrain varies from Atlantic White Cedar Swamps to the Red Cedar Rocky Summits, with pockets of fertile richness, as well as sandy Pine Barrens. Highlights include the state’s largest population of Minuartia glabra (Appalachian sandplant) and four species of Botrychium (moonwort). If time allows, we’ll hike to the Shumankanuc Mounds on the north side of the road. Each mound hosts an assortment of unusual plants.
- It is hunting season. You must wear 200 square inches of solid daylight fluorescent orange (i.e. vest or hat).
- We will walk 2-3 miles.
- The walk effort is moderate to strenuous. We will be up and down small hills, and walking on ledge.
- Suggested clothing includes long pants, long sleeves, sturdy shoes, and a hat.
The parking lot on Buckeye Brook Rd, about .8 miles southwest of Shumankanuc Hill Rd, Charlestown, RI. Burlingame Fieldtrip Meeting Location
Directions from the north:
- From I-95, take exit 2 and bear left (south) onto Woodville Alton Rd.
- Go 3.6 miles to the end at RI-91 (Carolina-Alton Rd).
- Turn left onto RI-91 (Bradford Rd/Carolina-Alton Rd/Church St).
- Go 1.2 miles and turn right (south) onto Kings Factory Rd (a.k.a. New Kings Factory Rd).
- Go .9 miles and turn right (west) onto Shumankanuc Hill Rd.
- Go 2 miles and turn right (south) onto Buckeye Brook Rd.
- Go .8 miles to the parking lot on the right for Burlingame Management Area.
Directions from the south:
- From RI-1 (Post Rd), turn northwest onto Kings Factory Rd (north).
- Go 2.8 miles and turn left onto Shumankanuc Hill Rd.
- Go .4 miles and turn left onto Buckeye Brook Rd.
- Go .8 miles to the parking lot on the right for Burlingame Management Area.
June 13 (Wednesday) 3:00 p.m.
International Festival of Arts & Ideas, New Haven
A walking tour of notable trees of New Haven. Registration is recommended. Details will appear on the Festival's website.
June 20 (Wednesday) 3:00 p.m.
International Festival of Arts & Ideas, New Haven
A botanical exploration of East Rock Park. Registration is recommended. Details will appear on the Festival's website.
June 23 (Saturday) 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Pond Meadow Natural Area, Killingworth
The Pond Meadow Natural Area belongs to the Killingworth Land Conservation Trust. The practice of flooding and draining the bog, along with keeping down the encroaching red maples, has created a sanctuary for bog vegetation, including orchids and insectivorous plants.
Travel to Route 81 either from Route 9 or I-95.
From the north, travel south on Route 81 through the Higganum section of Haddam. Take a right on to Hidden Lake Road. Continue straight onto Pond Meadow Road as Hidden Lake Road turns north. The site will be on the right, marked by a Killingworth Land Conservation Trust sign and small parking area.
From the south, travel north on Route 81 and take a left onto Hidden Lake Road. Follow the directions above.
Coordinates are 41.414425, -72.581288
June 24 (Sunday) 12:00 noon - 4:00 PM
Palmer River Salt Marsh, Warren, RI
The Warren Land Conservation Trust has preserved a beautiful salt marsh on the Palmer River. Behind the marsh is a Maritime Woodland community with large oaks and red maples and a lush understory. Some uncommon species we might encounter include Ptilimnium capillaceum (Atlantic mock bishop-weed), Polygala cruciata (drum-heads milkwort), Bolboschoenus robustus (sea-coast tuber-bulrush), Cirsium horridulum (yellow thistle). Wet feet are likely. The time was chosen to coincide with low tide.
Update: This walk will be a little rough. We will spend time off trails, bushwhacking. There is mud 1-3” deep and perhaps some shallow water. At times, we will be passing through thickets of greenbriar, Phragmites, knee-high poison ivy, and other shrubs.
We will meet at the cul-de-sac on New Industrial Way, Warren RI. Enter this on your phone map: (41.751150, -71.274417). Do not park in the FedEx parking lot or access road.
From I-95 in Providence:
Take I-195 east and go about 8 miles to Massachusetts exit 2. Bear right onto MA-136 south and go 1.5 miles to Old Market St. Turn right onto Old Market St and go 400 ft to New Industrial Way. Turn right onto New Industrial Way and go about 700 ft to the cul-de-sac. Park on the right in the cul-de-sac, or on the left in the driveway stub.
July 7 (Saturday) 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Cockaponsett Forest, Higganum
We will walk along the power lines. The wood lilies should be numerous and in flower.
Travel to Route 81 either from Route 9 or I-95.
From the north, travel south on Route 81 to Morris Hubbard Rd. Take a left onto Morris Hubbard Road. Continue to powerlines. Park by the powerlines entrance or in the nearby circle at the dead end.
From the south, travel north on Route 81 and take a right onto Morris Hubbard Rd. Follow the directions above.
Approximate coordinates: 41.471517, -72.552787
July 21 (Saturday), 8:00 AM
McLean Game Refuge w/ CT Ornithological Association
A combined COA/CBS field trip at the McLean Game Refuge. We'll be looking at plants and birds, and how the two relate. It will be educational and fun!
We will meet at the main parking area on Barndoor Hills Road in Granby.
Main Entrance to the Game Refuge
The main entrance to the Game Refuge is located on Route 10/202 in Granby:
From points to the south (Simsbury, Avon, Farmington)
Travel north on Route 10/202. The Game Refuge will be on your left approximately one mile south of Granby center.
From points to the north (Southwick, Westfield)
Travel south on Route 10/202. The Game Refuge will be on your right approximately one mile south of Granby Center.
From Route 91 (north or south bound)
Take exit 40 (Bradley International Airport). Follow the signs for East Granby/Granby (Route 20 west). At the traffic light in Granby center, turn left (south) on Route 10/202. The Game Refuge will be on your right approximately one mile south of Granby center.
To Game Refuge Headquarters
From the center of Granby - corner of Route 10 and Route 20:
Go west on N Granby Rd [CT-20] - go 0.2 mi
Bear left at fork continue on W. Granby Rd - Rt 20 for 1.1 miles
Turn left on Barndoor Hills Rd - go 1.1 miles
July 22 (Sunday) 1:00 p.m.
Blue Pond, Rockville Management Area, Hopkinton, RI
During the flood of 2010, the dam that held back Blue Pond ruptured. To date, it hasn’t been repaired and the result is an expansive grassland or meadow. The upper reaches of former pond shore are now dry and sandy, and filling in with little bluestem, cranberry, club-mosses, and sundews. The lower areas form a damp layer of peat where sedges, rushes, and goldenrods are thriving. Surrounding the pond is a mature forest of oak, hickory, beech and tulip trees. On our hike through the woods, we’ll stop and look at some of the exposed ledge and the associated plant communities. Some uncommon species we might encounter include Bartonia iodandra (purple screwstem), Capnoides sempervirens (pink-corydalis), Paronychia canadensis (smooth forked whitlow-wort), Platanthera clavellata (little club-spur bog-orchid), Proserpinaca pectinata (comb-leaved mermaid-weed), Parathelypteris simulata (Massachusetts fern), and Eleocharis tuberculosa (long-tubercled spikesedge).
- We will walk 2-3 miles, on and off trails, through forest, over ledge (easy), sunny fields.
- We will walk in wet fields/meadows and the shallow edge of the pond.
- Boots will enhance your experience, but are not required.
The Long Pond Parking Lot on Canonchet Rd, Hopkinton, RI.
- From I-95, take RI exit 2 and bear right (north) onto Woodville Alton Rd.
- Go .2 miles to the end, and turn left (southwest) onto RI-3 (Main St).
- Go .5 miles, and turn right (north) onto Canonchet Rd.
- Go 2.1 miles to the Long Pond Parking Lot on the left.
July 28 (Saturday) 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 pm
Hidden Valley Farm Preserve, Moodus
About 45 acres of woods, meadow, wooded wetlands, and frontage along the Moodus River. Easy hiking/walking, with some wetlands.
From Route 9, take exit 7, turn left onto Route 154 then right at the first traffic light onto Route 82. Cross the East Haddam Swing Bridge and follow Route 149 Main Street into Moodus Center, turn left onto Gristmill Rd. after Moodus Package Store, preserve parking is on the right before the Moodus River. From Route 2, take Route 149 to Moodus Center, turn right onto Gristmill Road before Moodus Package Store, preserve parking is on the right before the Moodus River.
August 12 (Sunday) 10:00 a.m.
Naugatuck State Forest, Beacon Falls/Oxford
A family-friendly walk in the west block of the Naugatuck State Forest, north of Beacon Falls on the west side of the Naugatuck River, easily accessible from CT Route 8. Meet in the parking area shown at the lower left corner of the map. Bring your field guides, binoculars—we’ll have some materials for young explorers—for a walk through the woods down to the small ponds (reservoirs).
The Naugatuck/Beacon Falls State Forest entrance is at the intersection of Pines Bridge Rd. (route 42) and Old Litchfield Turnpike. From the south, take exit 23 from route 8, turn left onto route 42 and go 1.6 miles to the entrance. From the north, take exit 24 from route 8, turn right onto route 852 which becomes 42. After re-crossing route 8, go about 1.6 miles to the entrance.
August 12 (Sunday) 1:00 p.m.
Coastal Plain Ponds, Myles Standish State Forest, Carver, MA
Myles Standish is state forest in Carver and Plymouth Massachusetts, about an hour east of Providence. It boasts 26 square miles of Pitch Pine/Scrub Oak forest, and dozens of coastal plain ponds, also known as kettle ponds. These shallow ponds are not fed by surface streams, but by groundwater and precipitation. Each summer, as water levels drop, the newly exposed shore sprouts a unique assemblage of interesting plants. We will explore several ponds as well as some of the pitch pine areas. Wet feet are not likely.
Forest Headquarters, 194 Cranberry Rd, Carver, MA.
From Providence, RI:
- From I-195 east, take exit 21 in Wareham, MA, and turn right (southeast) onto MA-28 (Cranberry Hwy).
- Go .8 miles and turn left (north) onto Tihonet Rd.
- Go 1.4 miles to where Tihonet Rd turns sharply right into the “Farm to Market Village”. Do NOT turn right, but continue straight (north) on Farm-to-Market Rd.
- Go 1.5 miles and the road changes to Federal Rd.
- Go 2.5 miles to the end, and turn right (east) onto Cranberry Rd.
- Go 1.5 miles to the end, and park at the Forest Headquarters.
We will carpool from here.
August 18 (Saturday) 9:00 am to noon
Maltby Lakes, Orange
Search for plants across the northern parts of the Maltby Lakes area. The terrain ranges from a powerline right-of-way to wetlands to small ledge outcroppings. Wear shoes appropriate for the diverse terrain.
Meet at the gate under the powerlines on Dogburn Rd., Orange (965 Dogburn Rd.). The gate is about 0.6 miles north of the intersection of Dogburn Rd. and Rt. 34/Derby Ave. on the right-hand side as you are traveling north. Contact John Triana with any questions at 203-401-2749 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 8 (Saturday) 10:00 a.m. to noon. Rain Date: Sunday, September 9.
Charter Marsh, Tolland
This beautiful DEEP property is normally closed to the public. It is managed primarily for marsh birds and waterfowl. A botanical survey was done in 2009 before work on the water control structure was performed and again in 2015. During this field trip we will examine the six plant communities identified during the previous surveys. The trip will be limited to 10 people and will require coordination of vehicles, canoes and kayaks. Signup required. Contact Lisa Wahle, trip leader. Rain Date: Sunday, September 9.
September 9 (Sunday) 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Fern Identification Workshop - registration required!
Buck Lodge, Connecticut College Arboretum, New London
This workshop will be an introduction to the native ferns of New England. Learn about fern morphology, ecology, development and evolution. Through lecture, photos, specimens and microscopic examination, learn to distinguish between common ferns. Some keying of fern specimens will be involved. Then we'll visit ferns in the Arboretum's Wildflower Garden to become skilled fern-observers. Bring a lunch and a hand lens if you have one.
Registration is required and space is limited. The cost to attend is $25 - or $15 for members of either CBS or the Conn. College Arboretum.
To register, click here and be sure to include "Fern ID Workshop" in the Item(s) Purchased line.
John Burns' consulting firm, Burns Environmental, specializes in rare plants, botanical surveys, and ecological studies. John also conducts research on ferns in Brazil and leads botanical travel programs through Betchart Expeditions.
From I95 take exit 83, go .4 mile and turn left on Williams St. After about 1 mile, make a U-turn and park along the west side of Williams St. The Arboretum's (pedestrian) entrance is directly opposite the Chapel Way entrance to the campus. Follow signs to Buck Lodge.
September 15 (Saturday) 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Rocky Top Ridge, Hamden (Mount Carmel Section)
We will walk the traprock ridge crest of York Hill, south west of Sleeping Giant, locally known as Rocky Top, botanizing open summit habitat, with asters, goldenrods and dry-site grasses, as well as exceptionally diverse, mature forest. One can see tree leaves, twigs, and bark buds, up close, along a trail section through sapling thicket, a former clear-cut. The 2.6 mile round trip is mostly level, with a a short climb at the start. Pack a lunch; we shall picnic at the overlook above the western cliffs. We'll end with an optional short side trip into interesting seepage swamp in adjacent town-owned land at the headwaters on Shepherd Brook. This was the very first section of the blue trail, built by Reverend Heermance and his family in the early 20th century. We'll pass the remains of their cabin. Eighteen acres of the Rocky Top Ridge were donated to the Hamden Land Trust at the end of 2017 by the developer. This took place after a successful battle to prevent ridge quarrying and condominium development, led by the Macks and their neighbors, assisted by the CT Botanical Society & the Connecticut Forest & Park Association.
From Route 10, turn west onto Shepherd Ave (across from Aunt Chilada's Restaurant & golf course by Sleeping Giant), head west and then south for 2.2 miles. Turn left (east) onto Rocky Top Road, between two town public works facilities. After a few hundred feet, park on the right side or before the road narrows at the sharp bend with a pull-off on the left, where the Blue Trail begins, at 64 Rocky Top Road.
September 16 (Sunday) 1:30 p.m.
Riverbound Farm Sanctuary, Cheshire
Riverbound Farm Sanctuary is a Quinnipiac Valley Audubon preserve with 23.4 acres of diverse habitat with three trails. The western border is the Quinnipiac River.
The preserve is located at 1881 Cheshire St., Cheshire, CT.
From points East/North /South: I-91 to Route 691W to Exit 4 (Rt. 322). Bear right at end of ramp, at the 2nd traffic light turn left onto South End Road (McDonald’s on corner) Riverbound Farm is located on right side of road a short distance after passing under Rt. 691. (Note: South End Road becomes Cheshire Street at the Cheshire town line after passing under Rt. 691.)
From the West: I-84 to Exit 28 (Rt. 322) turn right onto South End Road (McDonalds) and proceed as above.
From points East taking Rt. 68:
From Wallingford proceed West on Rt. 68 past Broad Brook reservoir to the light at the intersection of Rt. 70 (South Meriden Road), turn right, proceed just past Casertano’s where Rt. 70 curves to the right and Cheshire Street to the left (it’s like a “Y”) follow Cheshire Street to the stop sign at East Johnson Avenue, go straight and we are located 1,000 feet on the left.
From points South taking Rt. 10:
Heading north on Rt. 10 continues past the center of Cheshire for a couple miles until you reach the light at the intersection of West Johnson Ave. and East Johnson Ave. (at Deitrich’s Garden Center and just before Route 691). Turn right onto East Johnson Ave. and proceed about 1.5 miles to the stop sign, turn left onto Cheshire Street and we are located about 1,000 feet on the left.
September 23 (Sunday) 9:00 AM
East Rock Park summit, New Haven
There’s more to this heavily used area than one would expect. Walking less than a mile on a paved road in an urban park, we can see a great variety of species, from common to uncommon natives and exotics. Many state-listed species have been found on East Rock (which is a trap rock ridge) so you never know what we might find.
From I-91 north or south, take Exit 6, Willow Street. At the end of the ramp, go right. At first light, turn right onto Mitchell Drive. Just past the High School, turn right onto Orange Street. In a block, Orange Street will end and you will be in the park. Turn left and follow signs for the summit. As you approach the summit, look for a small Parking sign on the left and park there. Do not park at the overlook.
September 29 (Saturday) 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Yale & CBS Herbaria
Patrick Sweeney, Yale Herbarium Director, will give us a tour of the herbarium and also provide interested participants with instruction on mounting and labeling herbarium specimens.
Limited to 15. Contact Gail Reynolds at email@example.com or 860-424-6143 to reserve a spot.