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Come Explore the Wonders of Nature at Highlawn Forest

Kids observing wildlife at the pond on Highlawn Forest

For your next Connecticut forest adventure, come and explore the trails and educational activities at the Highlawn Forest.  Located behind the CFPA Headquarters in Middletown, CT, this 254-acre property is used as a demonstration forest and outdoor classroom.  

Accessible via the small parking lot shared with CFPA, the well-marked trail system is anchored by a loop that is approximately 2.5 miles. Shorter trails intersect the loop at multiple points to offer an alternative path through the property. The terrain is relatively level with a few, small hills and occasional rocks that need to be stepped over.  Once on the main, Blue-Blazed trail, it doesn’t take long to lose the sounds of busy central Connecticut and surrender to nature.

The property offers an outdoor nature laboratory along the short, handicap accessible Discovery Loop.  Along the path are opportunities to read posted signs about the Connecticut forest ecosystem and explore the surrounding environment.  This includes identifying oak, birch, and maple trees along with learning about the habitat of local insects, animals, and birds.

Across from the Discovery Loop is a short trail to an outdoor amphitheater where nature inspires activities such as creating poetry from painted stones.  Further up the main, Blue-Blazed loop is a wetland observation deck. Wetlands are home to a diverse group of birds, plants, and insects and the deck offers a place to observe these species in their own natural habitat before continuing on the trail.

Outdoor enthusiasts of all ages will find something to enjoy at Highlawn Forest.  Directions, parking information, and trail maps can be found at CFPA’s Highlawn Forest Page.  Visit CFPA’s Interactive Properties Map to discover your next adventure.