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Connecticut Trails Day Events and MORE at Goodwin Conservation Center

Trails Day is the best time of year to visit Goodwin Conservation Center! There are many exciting events being offered for all ages and interests. The James L Goodwin Conservation Center and State Forest is a hidden gem in Hampton, part of Connecticut’s Quiet Corner. Our mission is to offer forestry, wildlife and general conservation education for to the people of Connecticut. Come for an educational program, walk our native plant gardens, have a picnic by the pond, or traverse our 19+ miles of trails. Hope to see you then!


Birds of Black Spruce Pond/Natchaug Trail

A Connecticut Trails Day Event

Saturday, June 2


Join Goodwin Master Naturalist Deb Field for an early morning exploration of Goodwin Forest's Black Spruce Pond and a section of the Natchaug Trail. This area has plenty of songbird activity as well as an interesting mix of habitat. We will hike around the pond and the surrounding woodlands. Sturdy shoes/hiking boots suggested. Parts of the trail may be wet. Bring binoculars if you have them.


Quiet Corner NEMBA “Epic” Fun Ride

Saturday June 2, 2018

9:00 am  

The Quiet Corner Chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association is holding their annual Goodwin/Natchaug Epic Fun Ride on Saturday, June 2nd, 2018. This off-road event starts at 9AM and offers 3 loops with a range of terrain and miles to make everyone happy. Routes are marked with arrows for self-guided tours. All are welcome to this event and following pot-luck cookout at 12:30PM. Proceeds from this ride will fund the purchase, build and installation of a new bridge within Goodwin State Forest. Attendees can post what they are bringing for the pot-luck on our Facebook page/event. For more information, visit the NEMBA Quiet Corner Chapter website.


Geocaching and iNaturalist App

A Connecticut Trails Day Event

Saturday, June 2


For those with geocaching apps or GPS units. Do you have an interest in geocaching or are already a geocacher? Want to check out the hidden treasures scattered across Goodwin? Join us as we take you on a hike to Governor’s Island and back to find these surprises along the trail. Read through clues and use GPS coordinates to find the stashes so cleverly hidden in Goodwin Forest. Learn to incorporate technology, adventure, and the outdoors in one great activity for independent explorers and families! Also, walk and talk with Goodwin Naturalist Jasper Sha using iNaturalist to find and identify flora and fauna species in the wild. See what other people have found and help identify animals, insects, and plants. This app allows both beginners and experts to start identifying species on their own while also getting help of scientists and naturalists.


A Walk With James L. Goodwin

A Connecticut Trails Day Event

Saturday, June 2


Join Goodwin Program Director Beth Bernard for a walk around the forest and grounds as James L. Goodwin knew them. Until 1964, when James L Goodwin gave his home and property to the people of Connecticut, Pine Acres Farm in Hampton was an important location for forestry and agriculture. We will look at James's old journals and photographs, and take a walk to discover evidence of past land management including the site of the old sawmill, some ancient apple trees, and evidence of timber harvest within James L Goodwin State Forest. If you're feeling brave, stick around and we will visit the mysterious unmarked gravestone that is found within the forest.


Night Hike, Bonfire, and S’mores

A Connecticut Trails Day Event

Saturday, June 2


Enjoy a delightful evening hike under a blanket of stars with a seasoned Goodwin hike leader. We'll look and listen for wildlife as we traverse the trails at night. The moon will not be full, but it will be bright. Bring a flashlight or headlamp. After the hike, please join us for a campfire and a s'mores treat!


Friends of Goodwin Forest 5th Annual Trail Run

Sunday, June 3


Come for the run, stay for the fun! A challenging and fun 30k course and 10k course have been established to explore Goodwin State Forest, Pine Acres Pond and the Natchaug State Forest.  The event includes commemorative awards for each finisher and homemade treats for division winners. All ages are welcome, runners and their families are welcome to stick around for awards and a cookout at the pavilion. Proceeds from the run support educational programs and events at Goodwin Conservation Center. For more information and to register, visit www.friendsofgoodwinforest.org.


Goodwin Native Plant Sale

June 2 and 3, 2018  

The Friends of Goodwin Forest open their annual Native Plant Sale on Trails Day weekend. We offer native, wildlife friendly and unique plants at an affordable cost. We will have Master Gardeners on hand between 9 am and 2 pm both days to answer questions and help you find the right plants for your space. As you shop, take a self-guided tour of the Richard D Haley wildlife gardens to see these pollinator-friendly plants in action. For a list of plants, visit www.friendsofgoodwinforest.org.