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Field Trips and Workshops
2015 Schedule

Field Trips arranged by Martha McLaud Tonucci, 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 knowldegeable 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.

Non-members are welcome to join our field trips. No registration is required, unless otherwise stated in the trip description.

CBS members on a field trip
Field trip to Soapstone Mountain, September 8, 2001.

May 2, Saturday, 10:00
Cheshire, Roaring Brook Falls
This is a 15-acre, rich, moist terrace at the base of Prospect Mountain with several hundred acres of town-owned open space. Look for common and not-so-common spring wild flowers. There are easy, well-defined trails -- just right for plant lovers without highly agile legs. During lunch by the brook, the site's history will be explained. Some hearty botanists may want to hike up the falls after the trip.
Directions: From South Main Street in Cheshire (Rte. 10) follow Rte. 42 to Mountain Road, then to the 2nd left to Roaring Brook Road.
Co-Leaders: Truda Steinnagel, CBS Director, C: 860-235-1914 and Sigrun Gadwa, CBS Director, C: 203-537-1869,
May 9, Saturday, 10:00
South Windsor, Major Donnelly Land Preserve (1165 Sullivan Ave, South Windsor)
This is a nice, small area with disturbed marsh, swamp and wet forest -- along with an unusual fern and other unusual species. No climbing involved. Much of the preserve is wet meadow, with a small pond and some woods at the eastern end. There is a boardwalk through the wetter areas. Bring insect repellent, water and a bag lunch. Preserve website.
Directions: From I-84 East from Hartford: In Manchester take Exit 62. Turn left onto Buckland St. which becomes CT 194 in South Windsor. From I-91 to I-291 East in South Windsor: Take exit 4 (5N) from I-291 E. Continue on Rte. 30 north. Turn left onto Pierce Road. Turn left onto Rte. 194. If you miss the turnoff to Pierce Road, Rte. 30 crosses 194 in another mile. Turn left. The parking lot is immediately south of a condo development called Strawberry Fields.
Leader: Jonathan Schwartz, CBS member, C: 860-670-1525,
May 17, Sunday, 10:00
Guilford, Congress Swamp
This site is known mainly for its grove of swam cottonwood, Populus herophylla, but in a recent fall visit, the leaders noticed signs of interesting spring-flowering species. There is also a good diversity of habitats within a short distance. This trip will cover some of the same ground as John Anderson's 2012 trip to the Dudley Farm, but some will also be different, as will the season.
Directions: From the intersections of Rte. 80 and 77, go east on 80. Take first left in a very short distance onto Renee's Way. Park either at the end of the cul-de-sac or along road.
Leaders: Lauren Brown and Carol Lemmon: CBS members. H: 203- 481-0377, C: 203-215-0782; H: 203-488-7813, C: 203-415-2558
May 24, Sunday, 10:00
Wilton, Weir Farm Nature Conservancy
This walk will be shared by CBS and the Torrey Botanical Society. The Nature Conservancy Weir Farm is over 100 acres of fields, hilly woodlands and a lake. The hills are covered with mountain laurel and other native flora.
Directions: Take Merritt Pky. to exit 40, then north on Rte. 7. Continue approximately 11 miles to Rte. 102 traffic light. Turn left onto 102. Take second left onto Old Branchville Road. Turn left at first stop sign onto Nod Hill Road. Follow one mile to top of hill. Parking lot is on the left at 735 Nod Hill Road.
Leader: Carol Levine: 203-322-2051,
June 5-7
New England Botany Conference, Smith College, MA
The New England Botanical Club is celebrating its 120th anniversary year. This conference will bring together members of many botanical clubs and organizations that are active in northeastern North America, as well as students, academic researchers, naturalists, citizen scientists and professional botanists. This conference is free. See the conference website. Space is limited. Register by April 1, 2015. Questions: email
June 7, Sunday, 10:00 to Noon
The former Griswold Airport site in Madison was acquired by the town for recreation and native plant restoration. There is a three acre remnant native coastal forest. Replanting of grasses and other native plants was begun in the fall of 2013. Rain or shine. Easy walking, there may be wet spots.
Directions: Meet at the end of the parking lot of Salt Meadow Park, 1362 Boston Post Road, Madison
Leader: Jude Hsiang, CBS Director, C: 203-915-1387,
June 13, Saturday, 10:00 to 1:00
Old Saybrook, Great Cedars Conservation Area
(See also October 17). This area is the newly protected 1000-acre coastal forest (aka The Preserve). There are several areas of interest including a large wetland (with cranberry -- could this be a natural bog?), rocky outcrops with Opuntia, and impressive areas that have not been significantly impacted by invasive species. There is also at least one listed species at the site that needs to be confirmed.
Directions: Meet at Great Cedars Conservation Area, 155 Ingham Hill Road. Directions are tricky. Exit 67 is different, depending on traveling north or south on I-95. Traveling on I-95 south: take Exit 67, turn right to go north on Elm Street/Ingham Hill Road for 1.3 miles. Turn left at sign of the preserve. Address is 155 Ingham Hill Rd. Traveling on I-95 north: (A GPS might be helpful). Take Exit 67 toward Old Saybrook. Keep left. Follow signs for I-95 south. Take Exit 67 to Elm St. Follow to Great Cedars Conservation Area.
Leader: Judy Preston: H: 860-395-0465, C: 860-395-8335,
June 20, Saturday, 10:00
Redding, Saugatuck Falls Natural Area
SNFA is a 312-acre town-owned preserve which features a variety of habitats including flood plain, hemlock forest, a kettle pond and open fields. We will see a large colony of lizard tail, Saururus cernuus, and tracts of blooming Kalmia. A picnic can be enjoyed by the falls. There is a calcareous area that might be surveyed after lunch. Most terrain is not challenging except along the falls. Bring lunch.
Directions: From the Merritt Pky, take exit 42 (Rte. 57). Go north toward Weston on Rte. 57, then proceed 3.6 miles going straight on Rte. 53 (Newtown Tpke.) and continue another 5.7 miles. Turn left onto Glen Rd/Rte. 53 for 1.6 miles. Park at John Read Middle School on the right, 486 Redding Road (Rte. 53).
Leader: Susan Robinson, CBS Director, C: 203-829-3628,
June 27, Saturday, 10:00
Colebrook, Aton Forest, Sandy Brook
This is a new 67-acre acquisition of Aton Forest along Sandy Brook in Colebrook. It includes riparian areas, gravel bars, river bank, high flood plain, northern hardwood forest with native yew, beaver impoundments and shrub habitats. We have a general forest survey but we would like a full botanical survey of this property.
Directions: Meet at Aton Forest Headquarters, 270 North Colebrook Road, Norfolk. The easiest way, via Colebrook, is from Rte. 44, north on Rte. 183 for 6.8 miles, to a left on Church Hill Road. This becomes North Colebrook Road in Norfolk. Travel 1.3 miles from Rte. 183 to Aton forest entrance on left.
Leader: John Anderson, Director, Aton Forest and CBS Director, 860-542-5893 or 860-238-1053.
July 11, Saturday, 10:00
New Haven and Hamden, West Rock, Judges Cave and nearby trap rock areas
This is a fairly easy 1.0 mi. round trip walk from Judges Cave in New Haven to the gully over the Rte. 15 tunnel. We will botanize a highly diverse area with many trap rock species including uncommon sedges. Lunch on a sunny outcrop. For those willing to bushwhack through open rocky woods, we will carpool after lunch to the Mountain Road access, about 4 mi. north of the tunnel on the east-facing lower slope of West Rock ridge in Hamden. Moderate terrain of ~2 mi. We will also explore the talus at the base of a very high cliff. Wear good hiking shoes.
Directions: Take Exit 60 off Rte. 15. Proceed south on Rte. 10 for several blocks. Turn right (west) onto Benham Street. Continue 2.1 mi. to a "T" intersection with Main St. Proceed south about 2 mi. The road name becomes Wintergreen Ave. Pass under Rte. 15, turn right very soon onto second narrow paved road. Drive up hill 0.5 mi. Turn right (north) at top of hill and park at end or road by Judges Cave.
Leader: Sigrun Gadwa, CBS Director, C: 203-537-1869,
July 25, Saturday, 10:00
Guilford, Broomstick Ledges
Scott Williams has surveyed the property for The CT Ag. Experiment Station, and Bryan Connolly has completed two species inventories of the site in 2007 and '08. Although across the road from basaltic Bluff Head, this site is totally different geologically. This is rough, sometimes steep terrain with cobbles, but this should be no problem for snail-paced botanists! Expect some "goodies" in the highly diverse habitats.
Directions: Parking for Broomstick Ledges (also Bluff Head) is on the west side of Rte. 77, approx. 4 miles north of Rte. 80 and from Durham, it is also approximately 4 miles south on Rte. 77.
Leaders: Scott Williams, CT. Ag. Experiment Station, C: 203-804-6134,; Bryan Connolly, Asst. Prof. Biology, Framingham State U. 508-626-4793,
August 1, Saturday, 8:00 (Note early start time)
Naugatuck, Naugatuck State Forest, West Block
This is a joint field trip with CBS, Connecticut Ornithological Association and New Haven Bird Club. We will bird and botanize the West Block of Naugatuck State Forest, an Audubon-recognized Important Birding Area. Good trails that lead out from the Hunters Mountain Road Parking area into a variety of habitats including mixed hardwood forests, early-seral habitats, hemlock ravine, swamps, streams and ponds. The terrain is not difficult. Be prepared with insect repellent, sun protection and water. Bring lunch.
Directions: Park and meet at the end of Hunters Mountain Road in the west block of the state forest. Take Naugatuck Exit #26 off of Rte. 8 to Rte. 63 North, heading west, then west onto Scott St and south onto Lewis St. to Hunters Mountain Road. Continue to end of road.
Leaders: John Anderson, CBS Director, 860-248-1053 ; Chris Loscalzo (COA) Preferred contact via email:; or H: 203-389-6508
August 8, Saturday, 10:00
Farmington, Winding Trails Recreation Center
This 380-acre area is located north of the Farmington River in the southwest part of Connecticut's North Central Lowlands. Stratified sands and gravels cover the area, which is crisscrossed by several miles of gentle footpaths. We will follow some of the trails through a variety of habitats including mixed oak-white pine forests, red maple swamps, ponds, meadows, and a pitch pine-scrub forest.
Directions: Follow Rte. 4 west about a mile from Farmington center to Devonwood Drive. Follow signs to Winding Trails. We will meet by the entrance gate, then proceed to the parking area.
Leader: Steve Messier, CBS member, H: 860-673-8879,
September 12, Saturday, 10:00 (Please be on time as we will need to carpool).
Salem, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Zemko Preserve
This preserve is within the nationally recognized wild and scenic area of the Eightmile River watershed. A dam on the river was removed about five years ago. Many natives but few invasives have colonized. We will botanize this site and perhaps other nearby areas.
Directions: We will meet at the Salem Town Hall and carpool to the field trip site. Vehicles with good undercarriage clearance are suggested. From Rte. 2 east: In Colchester, take the exit for Rte. 11/Rte. 85/Lake Hayward. Go left at end of ramp. Continue to 4-way stop. This is Rte. 85. Turn right. Continue ~4+/- mi. and through a traffic light. The Salem Town Hall is a short distance beyond on the left. From the round-about at Rte. 82/Rte. 85: Travel north on Rte. 85 1.25 miles. Salem Town Hall is on the right.
Leader: Nelson DeBarros, DEEP Plant ecologist, 860-424-3585,
September 5, Saturday, 10:00
Farmington River in Farmington and Avon
This is botanizing canoe trip emphasizing the flora of the flat-water stretch of the Farmington River. Interesting habitats include riverbanks, low and high floodplain forests and meadows, and sandy/gravelly draw-down shores and bars. Anticipate doing a round trip of about 10 miles, first downstream, then back upstream (there is very little current to fight, going back upstream). Participants must provide their own canoes, kayaks, etc.
Directions: Meeting place and canoe launch is a parking lot on the south side of Rte. 4, in Farmington, immediately west of the bridge over the Farmington River, 0.3 mi west of jct. Rte. 4 and Rte. 10.
Leader: Bill Moorhead, CBS member, (H) 860-567-4920,
September 19, Saturday, 10:00
Rocky Hill, Dinosaur State Park
Dinosaur State Park's "Arboretum of Evolution" features plantings of many representative families in existence during the Mesozoic Era. These include a wide variety of unusual exotic trees as well as a collection of American trees native to the southeast.
Directions: The park is located at 400 West Street, Rocky Hill, CT. From I-91 north, take Exit 23 and turn right onto West Street. From I-91 South take Exit 23 and turn left onto West Street. The park entrance is less than one mile from the exit, on the right.
Leader: David Yih, CBS Director, C: 860-995-8669,
October 4, Sunday, 10:00
East Haddam, Hammond Mill Preserve -- Mushroom Foray
Gerry Miller, world-renowned mushroom expert and an herbalist, will lead a mushroom foray. Success is highly dependent upon rain a few days prior to the trip. Bring a shallow basket for collecting, a knife for digging and cutting, and plenty of small bags for separating different species. Waxed paper sandwich bags are best. Brown lunch bags are also okay. Time will be allowed following the collecting for identification.
Directions: On Rte. 82, just east of the northern terminus of Rte. 156, go north on the Hopyard Road toward Devil's Hopyard for ~1 mile. Take a right turn onto Dolbia Hill Road. Go to the bottom of the hill and park before crossing over the Eightmile River bridge or areas designated by signage.
Leader: Gerry Miller: H: 860-873-8286
October 17, Saturday, 10:00
Old Saybrook, Great Cedars Conservation Area
See description of the June 13, 2015 field trip
Leader: Judy Preston: H: 860-395-0465, C: 860-395-8335, or
Questions about the field trips? Contact Glenn Dreyer at glenn.dreyer (at)

Updated July 19, 2015.