by Ray Bendici
May 30, 2013
11:17 AMUnsteady Habits
Celebrate National Trail Days in Connecticut
On June 1 and 2, Connecticut will be home to the largest trails celebration in the nation.
It's once again time for National Trails Day, and in conjunction with that, the Connecticut Forest & Park Association has coordinated 259 events scheduled on over 560 miles of trail throughout the state. According to a press release, in addition to hiking, activities include biking, horseback riding, running, trail maintenance, kayaking, educational walks, bird watching and letterboxing. Fifty-seven of the events will take place on the state's Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System. Also, as part of the 100th anniversary of the Connecticut state park system this year, all parking fees for the state parks and forests will be waived on National Trails Day weekend.
If you like the outdoors, there's something going on in almost every town in the state this weekend—actually, 152 of the 169 towns are hosting events, from Ansonia to Woodstock. The forecast is calling for some hot weather and the occasional thunderstorm, but hey, welcome to summer!
And of course, all these great trails across the state are available nearly year round, so if you can't make it out this weekend, they'll still be there.
If you are going out this weekend, however, here are some great tips, courtesy of the Connecticut Forest & Park Association:
7 Ways to Prepare for a Fun Trails Day Outing
1. Choose the right event for you. Long-distance hikes are great for those who exercise daily, while short, flat adventures are better for less active individuals and/or small children.
2. Follow the leader. Arrive at least 15 minutes before the event to sign in. Inform the leader if you have any medical conditions (allergies, etc.) that might become an issue while out. Always stay with the leader and group.
3. Wear appropriate gear. Above-ankle boots (or sturdy shoes) and socks are recommended for most events. Bike participants must wear an approved helmet. Paddle participants must wear an approved personal flotation device.
4. Pack some essentials. Bring plenty of water and high-energy snacks or lunch. Having sunscreen and an insect repellent of your choice is a good idea too. Carry a cell phone for emergencies, but leave it in the off mode.
5. Use the loo. Depending on the event’s location, bathroom facilities might not be available.
6. Leave no trace. Pack out what you pack in. Respect private property, stay on the trails, and obey all rules. Be a good steward; do not leave rubbish, start fires, or injure vegetation.
7. Ask questions. If you have any questions prior to the outing, contact the event leader or coordinator at the e-mail address or phone number provided in the event description
For more info, including the detailed PDF listing all the events, visit ctwoodlands.org.