Aspetuck Land Trust offers six hikes for National Trails Day

Interested in bugs, reptiles and other creatures that crawl in the woods? Want to celebrate National Trails Day with some actual trail blazers? Thinking about improving your nature photography skills or understanding of shoreline birds? Aspetuck Land Trust has a hike opportunity available just for you.

“The Spring-Summer schedule of organized hikes in Aspetuck Land Trust preserves and led by noted experts is now available,“ said David Brant, executive director of the land trust. “We make a select group of hikes available to the public at no charge. We hope people will develop an interest in our conservation mission and think about joining us.

The list of hikes open to the public includes:

Meet the bugs! Insects, reptiles and other creatures we live with

When: Saturday, May 20, 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Walk: Hike with Sean Graesser, known as the “gourmet biologist,” exploring and discussing the behavior of the curious amphibians, reptiles, bugs, and other creatures that make their home in Trout Brook Valley.

Location: Trout Brook Valley.

Park: Bradley Road entrance to permit parking lot at Trout Brook Valley, Weston.

Terrain: Easy.

RSVP: [email protected] (25 people max).

National Trails Day Hike

When: Saturday, June 3; (rain date Sunday June 4) 9 a.m. to noon.

Walk: Join Lisa Brodlie and Donna Naser of the Aspetuck Land Trust Land Management Committee for a unique hike through Trout Brook Valley. Leaders will point out how a land management plan designed as a result of a habitat assessment study done on this preserve is being implemented.

ALT Land Management committee members and TBV trail stewards will join the walk to share their knowledge with the group.

Location: Trout Brook Valley.

Park: Bradley Road entrance, Trout Brook Valley, Weston.

Terrain: Experienced hikers only.

RSVP: [email protected] (25 people max).

Tails, Trails and Tales

When: Saturday, June 17, 10 a.m. (rain date June 18).

Walk: “Tails, Trails & Tales” is a hike and conversation focused on finding a sustainable balance for off-leash dog walking and environmental protection on conserved land. The event is led by the trio of conservation biologist Milan Bull, his dog Edge and noted dog trainer Jason Hoffman. Bull, the Connecticut Audubon Society’s senior director of science and conservation, together with Hoffman, owner of 203 Pet Care, discuss what dogs sense on a hike in the woods, what biologists observe, how seemingly small events can have very significant environmental consequences, and what the best strategies are for having a good time with your dog while hiking Aspetuck Land Trust preserves.

At the request of hike leaders and to avoid chaos, do not bring your dog to this demonstration and education event.

Location: Stonebridge Waterfowl Preserve, 388-398 Newtown Turnpike, Wilton/Weston

Park: in Newtown Turnpike entrance lot.

Terrain: Easy.

RSVP: [email protected] (25 people max).

Shore Birds of the Great Salt Marsh Island in Ash Creek

When: June 22, Thursday, 5:45 to 6:45 p.m.

Location: Gilman Ave by the sandbar in Bridgeport

Walk: Bring your binoculars to this exciting event! Tina Green, board member and past president of the Connecticut Ornithological Association and ever popular birding guide, will lead the discussion while you view the abundant birds (osprey, shorebirds and ducks) in the beautiful Ash Creek area. Learn about the different species as well as the conservation importance of this natural salt marsh.

Park: Park on Gilman Ave, St. Mary’s by the Sea, Bridgeport.

Terrain: Easy.

RSVP: [email protected] (25 people max).

Steve White, Nature and Photography

When: Saturday, July 22, 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Location: Trout Brook Valley Conservation Area, Weston.

Walk: Steve White, an award winning nature photographer, will lead a hike and conversation that focuses not only on taking better nature photos, but about using your camera to help strengthen your connection to and appreciation of nature. White views the camera as a tool for building our relationship with nature as much as it is an instrument of creativity. Be sure to bring your camera.

Park: Bradley Road entrance to Permit Parking lot at Trout Brook Valley, Weston.

Terrain: Easy.

RSVP: [email protected] (25 people max).

Odonata and Other Flying Objects  

When: Saturday, Aug. 12, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Location: Trout Brook Valley Conservation Area, Weston.

Walk: Join Scott Kruitbosch, bird expert from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, as he discusses birds, bees, and odonata, an order of carnivorous insects including dragonflies and damselflies. The uncommon tiger spiketail dragonfly, a threatened species in Connecticut, has been sighted in Trout Brook Valley.

Park: Bradley Road entrance to Permit Parking lot at Trout Brook Valley, Weston,

Terrain: Easy,

RSVP: [email protected] (25 people max).

Aspetuck Land Trust (ALT) is a local non-profit land conservation organization founded in 1966 to preserve open space in the towns of Westport, Weston, Fairfield and Easton. ALT preserves provide passive recreation and educational opportunities for people to learn about and enjoy nature, while preserving the flora and fauna and rural characteristics of local communities. ALT maintains 44 trailed nature preserves and other conservation-only properties on over 1,700 acres of land. ALT has over 1,000 local members who support us through annual membership contributions. For more information visit www.aspetucklandtrust.org.

Lisa Brodlie and Donna Naser of the Aspetuck Land Trust Land Management Committee will lead a hike through Trout Brook Valley on June 3.— Stephen B. White photo

Lisa Brodlie and Donna Naser of the Aspetuck Land Trust Land Management Committee will lead a hike through Trout Brook Valley on June 3.— Stephen B. White photo

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