The trails of Dunlap and Selleck’s Woods will be transformed into a magical place of exploration and discovery from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, May 19, Trails Discovery Day.
The popular Trails Discovery Day has returned with a broad array of activities for families and individuals of all ages interested in having fun in the woods while learning about flora, fauna and the environment.
A joint effort of the Friends of Selleck’s Woods, the Darien Land Trust and Darien Parks & Recreation Department, Trails Discovery Day is free and open to the public. It will be set up at the end of Parkland Drive with a reception area and plenty of parking.
Ringside Grill Food Truck will be on location selling hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks. Trail maps highlighting various points of interest will be available to help visitors young and old learn about one of Darien’s best-kept secrets.
An Adventureland Park, created especially for Trails Discovery Day, will allow young children to test their “forest skills” with an array of supervised challenges, including a stump and log walk, rope bridge, zipline and archery.
As they explore, they will discover a miniature village of gnome and fairy houses made from natural materials. Older children will enjoy pond fishing, rock-skipping and encounters with amphibians at the vernal pond as well as mysterious “creatures of the lake” further down the trail.
As kids of all ages complete treasure hunts, activities and games along the trails, they will learn which types of birds, fish and furry creatures make their home amid the trees and streams.
Chris Filmer, a trustee of the Darien Land Trust who pioneered the Friends of Selleck’s Woods, will be on hand to explain the seven distinct ecosystems that exist in the area.
“The Woods serve an important role in maintaining local wildlife populations by providing critical sanctuary for our songbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl and small mammals,” Filmer said. “It’s critical that we teach the next generation about the importance of conservation and we must do so in a way that inspires their sense of curiosity and wonder.”
Naturalists from the Darien Nature Center, Greenwich Audubon and Pollinator Pathway will also be on hand to share information and answer questions as visitors make their way along the well-marked and well-maintained trails.
“This is going to be an exciting day for families to discover the wonders of these woods,” said Elizabeth Harmon, executive director of the Darien Land Trust. “We welcome all to enjoy our educational programs, which explain the value and benefits of caring for our open space, in keeping with the mission of the Darien Land Trust to permanently preserve and protect open space in Darien.”
Directions to Selleck’s and Dunlap Woods
- (GPS 3 Parklands Drive.)
- Head north [that is, east] on Route 1 toward Norwalk, turn right at Trader Joe’s onto Kings Highway North. Immediately after you go over Interstate 95, turn right onto Parklands Drive and continue past the new buildings. Follow the signs for parking.