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Field Trips and Workshops
2014 Schedule

Field Trips arranged by Penelope C. Sharp, 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 3 (Saturday 10:00 a.m.) Beckley Furnace, North Canaan
Beckley Furnace Industrial Monument is a state park with an iron furnace from the 1800s. Much of the park is a rich, undeveloped forest of mixed hardwoods and conifers growing on bedrock of dolomitic marble. Expect unusual woody species such as leatherwood, northern white cedar and American honeysuckle. Spring ephemerals including Hepatica, Dicentra(s), ginger, toothwort and miterwort also present. Expect some steep slopes and wear appropriate footwear.
Directions: Located of Lower Road, North Canaan about 600 ft west of Furnace Hill. After entering property, cross bridge and bear right to larger parking lot.
Leader: Doug McGrady, CBS Member. 401-953-5367
May 4 (Sunday 10:00 a.m.) Pound Ridge, NY — Westchester Wilderness Walk
The Westchester Wilderness Walk covers over 150 acres of rocky woods, hillside streams. lakes and wetlands It offers 8 miles of trails, assembled over a decade ago by the Westchester Land Trust from properties donated initially by Paul Zofnass who encouraged his neighbors to also donate. The trails are rugged in some places so wear proper walking shoes.
Directions: Take Merritt Parkway to Exit 34, Long Ridge Road. From the north, turn right, north on Long Ridge Road for about 6 miles. Cross the CT- N.Y border and continue for a short distance to Upper Shad Road. Turn right into Upper Shad and go a short distance to the entrance to the Westchester Wilderness Walk on the left. Parking is along the roadside
Leader:Carol Levine Phone: 203-322-2051
Invitation to the 2013 Joint Field Meeting of the Botanical Society of America - Northeastern Section, Torrey Botanical Society, and Philadelphia Botanical Club
May 7-11 (Wednesday-Sunday), Aldie, Virginia
CBS members are invited to attend the Joint Field Meeting. The 2014 meeting will explore unusual and diverse habitats and botany in northern Virginia. We will stay in Aldie, Virginia, at the historic Institute Farm, a 500-acre property with abundant trails. The property has several fields planted 2-3 years ago in warm season grasses. Most of the property is second growth, though there is one fairly old oak woodlot. The group will visit three fascinating areas: The Chain Bridge Flats, Wildcat Mountain, and the G.R. Thompson Wildlife Management area.
For further information, download the invitation and registration form or contact the Emily Southgate, 540-687-8291 or . The registration deadline is April 18.
May 10 Saturday 10:00 a.m.) Nichols Preserve, Moodus
We will join members of the East Haddam Conservation Commission for a botanical/natural science survey of plants, birds, insects, etc. Expect an easy walk through mostly wooded property of several looping trails that parallel and/or cross a brook. The trails also border part of the Moodus Reservoir and in another direction lead to a peninsula on the south end of Pickerel Lake.
Directions: From the north: From Rte 2, take Exit 16 (Rte 149) toward Moodus/East Haddam. Continue on road to a traffic light at jct with Rte 16. Continue straight on 149 toward Moodus another 3 +/- miles. After going down a long hill, you will see the Moodus Reservoir on your left. Take an immediate right onto the road to the EH Transfer Station. Park on the grass off of the road and be careful of dump traffic. From the south: From the center of East Haddam, take Rte 149 toward Moodus Center. (strip malls on both sides of the road). Continue about 2 miles. After the curvy road crosses the reservoir viaduct, and before going up a long steep hill, turn left onto the EH Transfer Station entrance. Park as above.
Leader: Martha McLaud Tonucci, Past CBS President. 860-873-9187
May 17 (Saturday 10:00 a.m.) Little Laurel Lime Park, Seymour
This 170-acre tract features exposed marble caves and calcium rich soil, a colonial lime kiln, wetlands, streams, and a dry ridge-top ecosystem with pitch pine, pin cherry and bear oak over looking the Housatonic River. We expect to find pink lady slippers and several other species of wildflowers. There are some hills, and wet areas so wear proper footwear.
Directions: Take Route 8 to Exit 19. Turn onto Great Hill Road (Route 334). Follow Route 334 as it climbs and takes a sharp right. Turn left on Laurel Lane and proceed through the intersection with Tomlinson Road and continue on Tibbets Road. Park at the end of the street.
Leaders: Barbara and Peter Rzasa, CBS members. Home: (203)-888-0358; Cell: (203)-231-1776
May 24 (Saturday 9:00 a.m. — Note time change). Lake Bethany, Bethany
This is part of the Regional Water Authority's property in the West River watershed. We will hike along the trail that goes south of the parking lot into the ravine that holds the West River. We will also look under the nearby power line right-of-way.
Directions: Meet at the parking lot on Hatfield Hill Road — south side just east of the power lines.
Leader:John Triana, CBS member. 203-758-7203
May 31 (Saturday 10:30 a.m. — Note time change). Norcross Sanctuary, Wales, MA
We will botanize this wonderful nature preserve once again. We were there in the spring of 1979 and in the fall of 2007. There are two miles of trails around a variety or habitats and gardens of plants native to the Eastern Seaboard from the Carolinas to Canada. there is a museum with exhibits on plants, animals, insects and minerals of New England that you may want to view on you own. We will walk from 10:30 to 12:30, have a half hour lunch and then some of us can take a guided bus tour to the outer parts of the sanctuary to see special habitats such as the pine barrens and six ponds. The bus only holds 10 people so you need to sign up with me for this tour. Backpacks are not permitted, but a fanny pack and water bottle are allowed.
Directions: From 1-84 take Exit 70, Stafford Springs, CT - Rt 32 North, right onto Wales Rd. Stay right at the fork (go approximately 3 miles) and after entering Wales go 1/2 mile and take a right onto Peck Rd. The entrance is a short distance on the left. GPS directions: 30 Peck Road, Wales, MA 01081.
Leader: Carol Lemmon, home phone 203-488-7813, cell phone 203-415-2258.
June 7 (Saturday 10:00 a.m.) Black Spruce Bog, Newtown
This intriguing peatland is owned by the Newtown Forest Association and may be the southernmost black spruce bog in CT. Expect to see black spruce, and on the edges, wetland hardwoods and shrubs. Further exploration should yield many interesting ericaceous plants associated with these unique habitats. Wear waterproof boots and bring insect repellent.
Directions: From RT. 25 take Botsford Hill Rd. (you will see Swanky Franks on the opposite side of RT 25) go for approx. 6/10 mile to High Bridge Rd. to #40-42 DVI Industrial Park. Meet in the parking lot.
Leader:Susan Robinson, CBS Member, 203-829-3628
June 15 (Sunday 10:00 a.m.) Cathole Mountain, Berlin
We will explore Trap Rock Ridge habitats on Cathole Mountain including its low ridge, which remains largely pristine with a full quota of uncommon plant species along its crest.
Directions: From Rte 71 in Berlin go east on Orchard Road. Take first right on Linden Drive and right again on Summit Wood Drive. Follow to the Blue Hills Conservation Area sign. We'll meet there.
Leader:Pat LeBeau, CBS Botanist (860) 747-1439.
June 21 (Saturday 10:00 a.m.) Wangunk Meadows, Portland
Join with the Mattabeseck Audubon Society (MAS) to explore Wangunk Meadows in Portland. Our goal is to continue a habitat assessment and botanical/natural history inventory. The site includes 647 acres of state wildlife management area and has been designated a focus area of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish & Wildlife Refuge. Habitats include reverting and cultivated fields, marsh, some hardwoods. Bring binoculars and be prepared for wet feet.
Directions: Meet at the Portland Fairgrounds, Main St. From the east, cross the CT River into Portland on Route 17/66. Continue straight through traffic light on Route 17A/Main St. Follow 17A through town to the Portland Fair grounds on the left (north). From the west, at intersection of Route 66 and 17, go north on 17 about 2 miles to Route 17A. Left on 17A, fairgrounds a short distance on the right.
Leaders:Sigrun Gadwa, CBS Botanist, 203 484-0134 and Alison Guinness, CBS member and MAS president, 860 873-9304
June 29 (Sunday 10:00 a.m.) Groton, Haley Farm
Haley Farm State Park consists of 267 scenic acres overlooking Palmer Cove in Groton, CT. The park boasts a series of monumental stone walls, though we will turn our attention to the impressive plant diversity within the meadows, forests, tidal marshes, and freshwater wetlands at the site.
Directions: From Route 95, take Exit 88 and turn onto SR117 South. Turn left at the end onto Route 1 North. Turn right onto SR 215 (4th light). Take the first right onto Brook Street. Take the first right onto Haley Farm Lane.
Leader:Nelson DeBarros, Plant Ecologist, DEEP
July 19 (Saturday 10:00 a.m.) Groton, Avery Farm (Weber Farm)
This ~300-acre property is part of a much larger mosaic of open space, being brought under preservation through the efforts of the Groton Open Space Association, which would appreciate CBS's services with sedge and grass identification. Bring lunch and old sneakers or rubber boots, for wet spots. We shall botanize wet meadows, powerlines, and fen habitat - with orchids, sundews, lilies, Woodwardias, and a few Atlantic white cedars. Some of the most interesting plants may be found along the powerline.
Directions: From I-95 at New London, cross over the Gold Star Bridge and bear left onto Route 184 (Gold Star Highway). Go 3.66 miles and turn left onto Lambtown Road. Follow for 0.7 miles and turn left onto a gated dirt road. Go 0.16 miles to an open field restoration for parking.
Leaders: Sigrun Gadwa, CBS Plant Ecologist, and Whitney Adams, Jr. GOSA Member.
July 26 (Saturday 10:00 a.m.) Norfolk, Holleran Swamp
Holleran Swamp is a TNC preserve protecting 94 acres of bogs and swamps in northwest corner. Its most significant feature is the large forested bog of mature red and black spruce. Several other rare plants occur, along with many typical bog species.
Directions: We will meet near Station Place Cafe in Norfolk center (at Station Place and John Curtis Road) to carpool and leave at 10 am, heading north on Rte. 272 to Elmore Road. We will continue north on Elmore Road for about one half mile and park along the road, near a stream that drains the swamp.
Leader:John Anderson, Director Aton Forest 860-248-1053 cell phone
August 1 (Friday 1:30 p.m. Rain date Sunday August 3) Field Day at Ships' Hole Farm, Smithtown, NY
The trip includes a mostly farm-grown lunch on porch of the 1820's house. Several short walks on even, level to gently sloping trails, with keying/botanizing in between. Explore sandy-gravelly bluffs & brackish marsh edge of Nissequogue River; walk the old logging road trail through the coastal hardwood forest, now owned by Peconic Land Trust; visit a managed sandy meadow-copse with butterfly weed, winged sumac, and purple top grass. Black walnut, black locust, and red cedar are dominant in fertile fields and sheep pastures. We'll also discuss invasive management. Goal: grasses list to be used in grant-writing. Preregister by e-mailing . Directions and summer ferry schedule to be sent out to those who pre-register.
August 9 (Saturday 10:00 a.m.) North Stonington, Bell Cedar Swamp
Bell Cedar Swamp is an unusual wetland type and a critical habitat in Connecticut as it contains Atlantic white cedar growing in association with great laurel (Rhododendron maximum). Be prepared for wet feet and bring bug repellent.
Directions: Note the update: From I-95 take exit 93. Turn north on RT 216 at end of ramp and take an immediate left on Rt. 184. Head east on 184 to second street on right Boom Bridge Road. MEET AT TNC's Bell Cedar Swamp entrance, which is located between 56 and 64 Boom Bridge, on the west side of the road at the curve. If parking proves to be a problem, there's additional parking either in Bruce Fellman's driveway on 27 Boom Bridge or, better, across the street in his neighbor's field on 24 Boom Bridge Rd.
Leader:Jim Cowen, CBS Botanist and Wetland Scientist (860)514-3246 (mobile)
August 16 (Saturday 10:00 a.m.) Norfolk, Norfolk Land Trust Property
Acquired by the Norfolk Land Trust in 2013 through a combination of federal and state grants and private donations, this 311-acre, former girl scout camp has been described as "an extraordinary property" encompassing cliffs, rock formations, great views, significant wetlands and mature forests. Located between Spaulding Pond and Beckley Bog, the property includes the headwaters of the Mad River. Its highest point is close to 1600 feet. Access to the area is on Grantville Road.
Directions: Look for a "CBS" sign and the leader's white Honda there and park along the side of the road. Grantville Road is located south of the center of Norfolk. From the Norfolk green, drive south 1.6 miles on Rte. 272 and take a left onto Winchester Road (it's before you get to Dennis Hill State Park). Go 1.3 miles on Winchester Road and turn left onto Grantville Road just past a cemetery. Drive about 0.4 miles on Grantville Road and park near the entrance to Pine Mountain, Billings Trail. Grantville Road may also be reached from the Danbury Quarter Road, a left turn off Rte. 44 between Winsted and Colebrook. Driving north from Goshen on Rte. 272, Winchester Road is a right turn.
Leader: Joyce Hemingson, CBS Botanist (860) 379-6425.
August 24 (Sunday, 10:00 a.m.) South Mountain, Meriden
We will explore the rich Trap Rock flora of South Mountain's east side en route to the summit. Expect a longish walk with some bushwhacking. Wear appropriate footwear and carry water and lunch.
Directions: We will meet on Rte. 71 (Chamberlin Highway) at the designated parking lot for the blue trail just north of South Mountain Drive.
Leader: Steve Messier, CBS Botanist (860) 673- 8879.
September 6 (Saturday 10:00 a.m.) Waterford, Connecticut College Arboretum
We will walk through a 12-acre meadow/savannah complex that includes a five-acre grassland planted in 2006 with over 20 native grasses and forbs. We will explore the flora and discuss meadow restoration and management techniques.
Directions: The site is on Benham Ave. in Waterford, east of Route 32. From I-95 follow Route 32 north past Connecticut College and turn right (east) at the 4th traffic light. From 32 north, turn left on Benham at traffic light. Proceed downhill and meet on left side of road just before the rail road crossing. GPS address 50 Benham Ave., Quaker Hill.
Leader: Glenn Dreyer, CBS President. 860-439-2144 (office); 860-857-2393 (mobile).
September 13 (Saturday 10:00 a.m.) New Haven, Farmington Canal Trail and Marsh Botanical Gardens: Botany Meets History
In 1825, an optimistic entrepreneur built a canal for carrying goods from New Haven to Farmington. The right-of-way was soon converted to a railroad, but neither was a commercial success and the line lay abandoned and overgrown until the 1990s, when citizens pushed to have it converted to a recreational trail: the Farmington Canal Heritage Greenway. We will visit one of the most recently completed sections: a short stretch near Yale University. Botanically, the interest is in the mortar of the walls, where a few surprises might be found among the predictable urban weeds. After this, we will go a few blocks up the street to Yale's Marsh Botanical Garden, on the grounds of the former home of the famous 19th-century paleontologist O.C. Marsh. After the trip, you may enjoy New Haven's many restaurants and cultural attractions.
Directions: From I-91, take the Trumbull Street exit. Meet on the corner of Hillhouse Avenue, two blocks from the exit. Just before Hillhouse, on the right, is a Yale parking lot (free) which is your best bet for parking. Street parking is metered and not always easy to find.
Leader: Lauren Brown, CBS member, 203 481-0377; 203 215-0782 cell.
September 20 (Saturday 10:00 a.m.) Killingworth — Chatfield Hollow State Park
Chatfield Hollow has much to offer and we will explore some of its many trail including a boardwalk that traverses a wetland. Unusual plants include Fraxinus nigra, Dirca palustris, and a number of herbaceous species.
Directions: From Route 9, take exit 9 and follow Route 81 south to traffic circle and take Route 80 west. Look for park entrance on right. From I-95, take Exit 63 and follow route 81 north to traffic circle and take Route 80 west. Look for park entrance on right.
Leader: David Yih, CBS Botanist.
October 5 (Sunday 11:30am) Northford, Annual Picnic
Bring pot luck to share at this enjoyable annual gathering. We can botanize nearby woodlands after lunch.
Directions: Approximately 2.3 miles north of the junction of Routes 17 and 22 in Northford Center, turn right onto Reeds Gap Road East. Look for #225, white frame house behind hemlock hedge. Penni Sharp 203-484-0134.
Questions about the field trips? Contact Glenn Dreyer at glenn.dreyer (at)

Updated August 5, 2014.