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Field Trips and Workshops
2019 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.
Saturday, April 27, 10 AM to 1 PM
Northwest Park, Windsor
This 473-acre park bordering the Rainbow Reservoir offers a variety of habitats including meadow, acid bog, conifer woods, and beaver pond.
I 91 to exit 38. North on Route 75 (Poquonock Ave.) After about 1.5 mile, turn left on Prospect Hill Rd. At rotary take first right onto Lang Rd. The Northwest Park parking lot is on the left.
Saturday, May 4, 9:30 AM to Noon
Millers Pond State Park, Durham/Haddam
This state park that straddles the towns of Haddam and Durham has a great selection of spring wildflowers.
From Route 9, take Exit 11. Follow 155 West. Turn left onto Millbrook Road. Bear left onto Foothills Road. Parking area is on the right.
Saturday, May 11, 10 AM to Noon
Canton Land Trust Swan Property, Canton
From I-84 in Farmington, take exit 39 from I-84. Continue onto Route 4 West. From Route 4, continue onto Route 179 north. Just past the intersection of Route 179 and Route 309, turn right on Case St.
To view on Canton Land Trust web page, visit https://cantonlandtrust.org/lands# and click on Swan.
Trail map with parking info: https://cantonlandtrust.org/static/maps/topo/SwanWithDir.jpg
Saturday, May 18, 10 AM to Noon
North End of Mt. Lamentation, Berlin, CT
We'll hike through open space owned by the Berlin Land Trust and the Town of Berlin, at the base of this traprock ridge, and in the extensive cedar glades along the ridge crest, starting along the Algonquin pipeline. Old logging trails are in good condition- the very first spring field trip to this site! Blue cohosh, sweet cicely, and round-lobed hepatica are common; assorted other special trap species expected!
Aside from recording the plant species we find, we’ll pull a few garlic mustard plants spotted last December, to prevent their spread in this otherwise pristine site, and learn to recognize other potential invaders by the trail head.
From Route 9, go south on Berlin Turpike (Rt. 15) for 1.7 mi., turn east (left) on Spruce Brook Rd for 2000 ft. turn right on Lamentation Drive. Proceed ~ 1/2 mile to the gated trailhead of the Mattabesset Blue-blazed Trail, ~ 300 feet past Quail Run. Park on left side of Rd, next to open space, not homes. We'll consolidate, and a just few cars will actually park next to the Algonquin ROW, starting at upper end of Quail Run.
Sunday, May 19, 1 PM
Scott Brook, Cumberland, RI
The High Rock Farm Preserve and Scott Brook Preserve encompass a variety of habitats within a Beech/Sugar Maple/Red Oak Forest. The soils here are some of the richest in the state and the display of spring ephemerals is outstanding. With one of the highest concentrations of rare species in Rhode Island there’s always something interesting to see. We’ll browse the woods and power lines for 3-4 hours. There are some small hills and uneven ground.
From RI-122 (Mendon Rd) turn northeast onto Scott Rd. Go 1.1 miles to the parking area on the left (west) side.
Parking: Meet at the road side parking area at 186 Scott Rd, Cumberland, RI. (On your phone map, head to 41.95407, -71.42817).
Sunday, June 9, 9:00 AM
Red Hill Woods, Branford (note early start time!)
This beautiful property, recently acquired by the Branford Land Trust, has a diversity of habitats from rocky outcrops to a small flood plain which we can traverse on a boardwalk. There are also a few uncommon species.
From I-95 southbound, take Exit 56. Go left, then left again at the light back over the highway. In a short distance, take a left onto Red Hill Road. Follow the road to the end of pavement. From I-95 northbound, take Exit 56 and go right. In a short distance, take a left onto Red Hill Road. Follow the road to the end of pavement
Sunday, June 16, 1 to 3 PM
Bulington Land Trust Brower Property, Burlington
The Brower property is an interesting property with a pond with trails to access the water’s edge, rocky ledges covered with mountain laurel, pine and hardwood forests. There may also be a variety of mushrooms.
This link shows the property on Google Maps Directions: Tunxis Trail Head
GPS Coordinates to parking area: GPS Coordinates: 41°43'30.3"N 72°59'05.5"W
A map of the property with trails may be found at Burlington Land Trust
From the center of Burlington at the intersection of Routes 4 and 69, go south on Route 69 South towards Bristol for 2 miles. Turn right on Scoville Rd. When it curves left, it becomes West Chippens Hill Road. Go 1.2 miles and turn right onto Greer Rd. Watch for the pond on your left and immediately after you pass the pond, you will see the trail head and parking area on the left.
Saturday, June 22, 10 AM to Noon
Short Mountain, Berlin
This will be a family-friendly field trip up a small traprock mountain, just south of Ragged Mountain. It has a little bridge over a stream crossing, a section with fine views from steep outcrops, and a patch of a very rare sedge species. With diverse, native vegetation – as is typical for Connecticut’s volcanic Metacomet Ridge system – this is an opportunity to review or learn a variety of native trees, shrubs, and groundcovers, and some mosses and lichens.
From Route 71 (Chamberlain Highway), take a turn to the west onto Southington Road (Route 154) . At the Timberlin Golf course, turn right (north) and take the entry road past the clubhouse and a parking lot, bearing west to a cul-de-sac. Depending on the number of folks who come, latecomers may park in the parking lot, and be shuttled to the trailhead at cul-de-sac. The trail is marked with green diamonds.
Saturday, July 13, 10 AM to Noon
Higganum Cove and CT Valley Railroad State Park, Higganum
Higganum Cove was a superfund site that was recently cleaned up by EPA and given to the town of Haddam. A former industrial site with a waterfall, many native wildflowers now grow up to Higganum Creek, at the confluence of several local brooks. A short walk leads to the CT Valley Railroad State Park along the Connecticut River. Ceanothus americanus has been observed growing along the tracks in recent years.
Due to construction on the local Dublin Hill bridge, the following detour must be used. From Route 9, exit at Aircraft Road, exit 10. Turn south on Route 154, pass Coyote Blue Restaurant on the left, and take an immediate left on to Freeman Rd. The road turns to dirt for a bit. Follow Freeman Rd about 1.5 miles and take a right onto River Road. River Road becomes Dublin Hill Rd. Follow for about .8 mile until you are stopped at the Dublin Hill bridge construction site. There is a small parking area just before the bridge. The approximate coordinates of the parking area are 41.499273, -72.556729
Tuesday & Wednesday, July 16 & 17, 8:30 AM
WORKSHOP: Secrets of Sedge Identification and Ecology
This plant identification workshop focuses on field identification, ecology, and indicator value of genus Carex, i.e. the “sedges”, the most diverse genus of vascular plants in Connecticut. Considered by many a “cryptic” group, the sedges are actually a well-behaved taxonomic group with relatively little hybridization. The workshop will emphasize development of field identification skills. An evening lab session will be held in the evening of July 16th. We will begin at AF Hq and then carpool to various locations to see plants in their natural habitats.
To register visit us online at www.atonforest.org or email us firstname.lastname@example.org. Tuition: $170. Workshop is limited to 16 participants, pre-registration required. For more information, please contact us at email@example.com, visit us on the web at www.atonforest.org or find us on Facebook.
Beginning at Aton Forest Headquarters, 270 North Colebrook Road, Norfolk CT
Saturday, July 20, 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Combined COA/CT Botanical Society Bird/Plant Workshop, Wimisink Preserve, Sherman (note early start time!)
Spend a morning with bird watchers to learn about the birds that make use of the plants that we know and love. On this joint event of the CT Botanical Society and the Connecticut Ornithological Association we’ll visit a freshwater wetland where bitterns and other marsh birds have bred. We may also visit the nearby Herrick Trail to look for woodland species.
The workshop is free and open to COA members and non-members alike.
Take Route 7 (south from Kent or north from New Milford) to Route 55 west for ½ mile, then turn left onto Route 39. The Preserve parking lot is immediately on the right.
Sunday, July 21, 1 PM
Neutaconkanut Hill, Providence, RI
Neutaconkanut Park is small forest perched atop a 100 ft hill overlooking the city. The mafic bedrock, with its concentrations of magnesium and iron, does not make ideal growing conditions, but it’s unusual. And unusual habitat often produces unusual plants. Thalictrum revolutum (waxy-leaved meadow-rue) was once considered historic in Rhode Island but is locally abundant on the hill. And it’s growing with Phryma leptostachya (American lop-seed), perhaps the only population in the state. Other unusual species present are Paronychia canadensis (smooth forked whitlow-wort), Cryptotaenia canadensis (Canada honewort), Hylodesmum glutinosum (pointed-leaved tick-trefoil), and Hedeoma pulegioides (American false pennyroyal).
Meet in the parking lot at 120 Killingly St, Providence, RI (On your phone map, head to 41.81380, -71.46277).
Saturday, August 3, 9:00 AM - Noon (Rain Date: August 4)
Litchfield Land Trust Prospect Mountain Property, Litchfield
Link to preserve map: Prospect Mountain Preserve Map
From Route 202 (heading northeast from Mt. Tom Pond), turn left onto Old Turnpike Road and in a short while, turn left onto Prospect Mountain Road. Drive about 1.1 miles on Prospect Mountain Road and meet at the Prospect Mountain Road trail head for both the blue and red trails. The spot is noted on the digital map.
Saturday, August 10th, 10am-2pm
Tri-town Preserve, Avalonia Land Trust, Preston
We'll walk into the interior of this new 540-acre preserve and botanize a 30-acre interior fen (footing good in midsummer). Underlain by gabbro bedrock, an ancient metamorphic rock of volcanic origin, like traprock, low hills with rock outcrops have minerotrophic plants such as Allegheny vine and abundant hop hornbeam.
Head east (northbound) on I-95, take Exit 90 onto Route 27 north (1.3 miles); take a short hitch east (right) on CT 184E (1.2 miles); follow Route 201 northerly for 7.5 miles. Turn left on Miller Road and park on right before sharp left turn. (set GPS at 80 Miller Road, North Stonington). Bring a lunch, a hat & sunscreen.
Thursday, August 15, 2019, 9 am – 5 pm
WORKSHOP: Floodplain Forest Plant Communities
In this workshop you will learn the identification and habitat niches of plants found in Connecticut’s floodplain vegetation. The workshop will emphasize field identification of the important Federal wetland indicator plants encountered.
Central Connecticut or Farmington River Valley, exact location to be announced. To register, visit us online at www.atonforest.org or email us firstname.lastname@example.org. Tuition: $85. Workshop is limited to 16 participants, pre-registration required. For more information, please contact us at email@example.com, visit us on the web at www.atonforest.org or find us on Facebook.
Saturday, August 17, 9 am to noon
Prospect Reservoir, Prospect
Search for plants around Prospect Reservoir in Prospect. The terrain ranges from fields, to recent timber harvests, mature forests, and a small lake. Wear shoes appropriate for the diverse terrain.
From Route 68, go south on Tress Rd. Meet at the intersection of Tress Rd. and Cornwall Ave. in Prospect.
Sunday, August 25, 1 pm
Matunuck Hills Coastal Plain Ponds, South Kingstown, RI
The Matunuck Hills area of South Kingstown is part of the glacial moraine where the mounds and kettles form a scalloped landscape. Many of the kettles hold small ponds. These ponds are groundwater fed with water levels that fluctuate with the seasons. They typically fill up in the winter and drop considerably in the summer. The exposed sandy shoreline is a rare habitat that sprouts a unique assemblage of plants. Some years are better than others, depending on the water levels. We’ll spend 3-4 hours exploring Long Pond and Spectacle Pond on Nature Conservancy property.
Parking is limited so we will meet off site and car pool. Meet at side track on the north edge of RI-1 (Commodore Perry Hwy) beside the Robert Beverly Hale Library, 2601 Commodore Perry Hwy, South Kingstown, RI. This side track serves as a driveway to the library and is less than a ¼ of a mile long. Do not park in front of the library, but a little further east. (On your phone map, head to 41.39810, -71.54761)
Saturday, September 7, 10 am to 1 pm
Avery Farm Nature Preserve Powerline Walk, Groton
We will walk along several thousand feet of powerline right of way in Groton Open Space Association’s Avery Farm Nature Preserve and Town of Ledyard open space. Expect to see diverse habitats with less common species of club mosses, chokeberries, viburnums, several native late season legumes and spectacular thickets of poison sumac. We will also consider vegetation management strategies that result in diverse high quality right of way habitat.
From Center Groton (intersection of Rt. 117 with Rt.184) travel east 1.1 mile on Rt. 184. Turn left onto Lambtown Rd. and go 0.95 miles until you reach a metal gate across the road. Park on the edge of the road. Please do not take the other Lambtown road located farther north which links Rt. 117 with Colonel Ledyard Hwy. There is no connection to our meeting point from this direction.
Thursday, October 3, 9 am – 4 pm
WORKSHOP: Asters Demystified, Norfolk
We will cover the identification and ecology of most of the 32 southern New England species of asters (genera Aster, Doellingeria, Euribia, Ionactis, Oclemena, and Symphyotrichum) and some of the hybrids. The workshop will begin with a lab session at Aton Forest, in which we will cover the basics of aster identification and the species we will not see in the field. We will then car-pool to several field sites in the vicinity of Aton Forest, where we will cover field identification of the species that occur in northwest Connecticut. The discussions of species ecology will include wetland indicator value of each species. This workshop will run, rain or shine. If the weather is too bad for field work, we will extend the lab session, using fresh and pressed collected material. Participants are encouraged to bring specimens. This workshop is suitable for both aster beginners and more experienced botanists to whom asters are a challenge.
To register visit us online at www.atonforest.org or email us firstname.lastname@example.org. Tuition: $85. Workshop is limited to 16 participants, pre-registration required. For more information, please contact us at email@example.com, visit us on the web at www.atonforest.org or find us on Facebook.
Begins at Aton Forest Headquarters, 270 N. Colebrook Rd. Norfolk, CT