On National Trails Day, Saturday, June 3, and the next day, people across the country (but especially in Connecticut) will be hitting the trails for hikes, nature walks, educational walks and trail clean-up and maintenance efforts to celebrate walking amid nature. There are dozens of events not far from Darien.
Editor’s note: As of 12:56 p.m., here’s the latest National Weather Service forecast for Darien. It looks like the weather will be fine for going out on the trails on Saturday, with possible rain on Sunday afternoon. Use bug spray and watch for ticks afterward.SaturdayMostly sunny, with a high near 72. West wind 9 to 13 mph.Saturday NightMostly clear, with a low around 55. Northwest wind 3 to 8 mph.SundayA chance of rain between noon and 3pm, then a chance of rain and thunderstorms after 3 p.m. Increasing clouds, with a high near 68. Calm wind becoming south 5 to 9 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 50 percent.
According to the Connecticut Forest & Park Association, this state has the most National Trails Day events of any state in the union, with 236 scheduled for the weekend.
One National Trails Day event on Saturday morning involves a free boat trip to Sheffield Island off of Norwalk, where volunteers will help maintain the island nature trail. Here’s a description from the association’s website:
A fun day to clean and rehabilitate the Sheffield Island nature trail. Volunteers will take a FREE ferry ride to Sheffield Island and pull invasive plants, perform light maintenance work and help get the trail ready for the summer season. Bring a picnic lunch and sit on the grass with a view of the Long Island Sound. We’ll take a tour of Sheffield Island’s historic lighthouse, cruise on Norwalk harbor, and have time to enjoy the island. This volunteer event is open to adults and children 9 and older (must be accompanied by an adult). Space is limited. Contact Park Ranger at number below, x111 with questions or to register, More event details will be provided to volunteers after registration.
National Trails Day, organized by the American Hiking Society, takes place each year on the first Saturday in June. Here’s a list of the closest events to Darien, almost all of them from the association’s interactive online list:
Norwalk — McKinney Natl. Wildlife Refuge – Sheffield Island Unit — Saturday, June 3 — 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. — trail maintenance
Norwalk — Oak Hills Park Nature Trail — Saturday, June 3 — 3 to 5 p.m. — nature walk
Stamford — Mianus River Park — Sunday, June 4 — 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. — hike
Stamford — Mill River Park — Saturday, June 3 — 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — geocaching
Weston — Lucius Pond Ordway-Devil’s Den Preserve — Saturday, June 3 — 8:30 to 11 a.m. — hike
Weston — Trout Brook Valley Preserve — Saturday — 9 a.m. to 12 noon — educational walk
Weston — Devil’s Den Nature Preserve — Saturday — 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — hike
Westport — Sherwood Island State Park/East Beach — Saturday — 8:15 to 10:15 a.m. — paddle
Westport — Sherwood Island State Park — Saturday — 8:30 to 10 a.m. — nature walk
Westport — Sherwood Island State Park — Saturday — 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — educational walk
Westport — Sherwood Island State Park — Saturday — 2 to 3:15 p.m. — nature walk
Westport — Sherwood Island State Park — Saturday — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — multiple activities
Events a Bit Farther Away
Danbury — Bear Mountain Reservation — Sunday — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — hike
Fairfield — CT Audubon Society Center at Fairfield — Saturday — 1 to 2 p.m. — hike
Monroe — Webb Mountain Park — 10 to 11 — Saturday — nature walk
Redding — Topstone Park Trails — Saturday — 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon — hike
Ridgefield — Restore Historic Walking Trail — Saturday — 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — trail maintenance
Ridgefield — Ridgefield Rail Trail Nature Walk — Saturday, June 3 — 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. — nature walk
- Check the Connecticut Forest & Park Association website for an interactive list with many other events around the state.
- Check the American Hiking Society website location finder for other events in Westchester County and elsewhere in New York state (or beyond).
In New Haven, there will be a 2.5-mile hike at East Rock Park on Saturday, June 3. If you’ve driven through New Haven, you’ve probably seen the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument at the top of the East Rock, overlooking the city and Long Island Sound.
The hike takes place from 10 a.m. to noon. From 1 to 4 p.m., the monument will be open to the public. Here’s a description of the event from the Forest & Park Association website (more details here):
Hike up East Rock Park’s historic Giant Steps Trail. Learn about New Haven’s largest park’s history while climbing to the summit to enjoy the magnificent views of New Haven and Long Island Sound. Bird watching is great at this time of year, so be sure to bring binoculars to catch a look at some of our migrant bird species. Please bring sufficient water for the hike. Later that Day, from 1 to 4 p.m., New Haven Park Rangers will have the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument open for tours to the top. In order to climb to the top of the monument, participants must be 8 yrs and older, in good physical shape and be wearing suitable footwear, open-toed shoes or sandals.
Editor’s note: This article originally was published on May 28. The time stamp has been changed to put the link back on the Darienite.com home page.