Manchester Land Conservation Trust

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All are welcome to Land Trust events ó fun, informative, and congenial hikes and walks on our conservation lands in the Greater Manchester area and an annual dinner meeting.
 

• Farm walk    Thursday, April 27 at 3:30 p.m.
1945FarmWho's up for an after-school event?! Come for a hike at the Land Trust's 62-acre farm on Bush Hill Rd., Manchester, and Bell St., Glastonbury. Meet at the old cider barn, 330 Bush Hill Road, Manchester and enjoy a trek to see the Bush Hill high point, and out to the Glastonbury portion of the property, with its babbling brook. The event is free (donations for maintenance welcome!), and will be held rain or shine, but extreme weather cancels. Moderately paced with hills, bumps, and some wet spots. About two-and-a-half miles. The Botti family farmed this property starting about 1912 Ė growing apples, peaches, cherries, and blueberries as well as vegetables. With volunteer help, trails are now in place with blazes to guide hikers. No dogs, please. 1945 photo at right shows Louis and Emilio Botti working at the orchard. Click farm flyer for a map of the area, showing its connection to nearby open space.


• Risley Park hike    Sunday, April 30 at 1:00 p.m.
Risley5.31.14.2818.JPG This challenging hike starts in the parking lot just east of Risley Pond on Lake Street in Vernon, across from Amy Drive. Risley Park is the Trustís largest parcel of protected land. It spans 155.3 acres in Vernon and Bolton, and hosts a section of the Shenipsit Trail, part of the Blue Trail system of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association. The property includes a former orchard, farmland, pond, rock formations, and meadow. No dogs, please. Depending on the weather conditions, this will be a strenuous 3.3-mile hike to a ridge with scenic views along the way, with rough and steep terrain, and some wet spots -- the hike may be shortened to avoid some wet areas, but it will still be strenuous. Hikers should wear sturdy shoes or boots, bring water and a snack, and expect to be on the trail for about two and a half hours. Park in the Lake Street lot, PICTURED in photo at left, across from Amy Drive on the east side of Risley Pond; additional parking is available along Amy Drive. Extreme weather cancels; check this website if any questions. For pictures and a short history of the Risley property on the Land Trust's website, see the Risley Pond flyer.

• Annual meeting and dinner    Thursday, May 18, 2017
Dinner5:30 p.m. at historic Hilliard Mills, 642 Hilliard Street. $20 for members; $25 for non-members. An evening of conviviality and good food. After dinner, there will be a brief business meeting with a summary of the previous year's events, financial reports, and election of board members, followed by a Bear Talk by Prof. Tracy Rittenhouse, from the University of Connecticut Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, which has just completed a four-year study of black bears in Connecticut. All welcome, although only members can vote. This is always a highlight of the Land Trust year. Plenty of parking to the left and right of the entrance at 642 Hilliard Street.
• Cheney Railroad History Walk    Saturday, May 27 at 1:00 p.m.
4.26.15ChenRRWalkSmall.JPG
Hikers will have an easy, fairly flat, walk along the former railroad, built in 1869 to connect the Cheney silk mills to the main rail line in the North End. At 2.5 miles, it was the shortest private freight-and-passenger railroad in the United States. We will hike at a moderate pace along the one-mile portion owned by the Manchester Land Conservation Trust and, depending on the weather, on to the bridge overlooking Center Springs Park, which will take about 2 hours round trip. Participants will hear about the history of the railroad and see maps and old pictures. Meet at the North End of Main Street in Manchester, on the north (right) side of Farrís Sporting Goods, 2 Main Street, Manchester, CT 06042. Park at the nearby shopping plaza or Eighth Utilities District office building (please do not park in Farr's parking lot). A special favor will be given to children who attend the hike, co-sponsored by the Connecticut Forest & Park Association's Hike CT program, and open to all. We will hike if light rain -- bring an umbrella -- but extreme weather cancels. No dogs, please. FREE.
Click here to see information about the history of the Cheney Railroad on the Manchester Historical Society's website. To enjoy the trail on your own, print a copy of this railroad map.

• Center Springs Park hike    Saturday, June 3 at 10:00 a.m.
CenterSpr.CMB.2013WEB.jpg Meet at the Manchester Park and Recreation Headquarters, 39 Lodge Drive, Manchester 06040, rain or shine -- extreme weather cancels. We'll explore Center Springs Park as part of Connecticut Trails Day. All are invited to this free ramble at the 55-acre urban park in the geographical center of Manchester. Learn some of the history of the park, and view interesting rock formations and a gorge on this approximately one-mile hike. The terrain is difficult and wet in spots, and participants should wear sturdy shoes. Extreme weather cancels. Optional additional walk to the nearby Cheney Railroad, adding a half-mile round trip. History and lore on Manchester Historical Society web site at Center Springs Park.Connecticut Trails Day and its hundreds of hikes, biking and canoing expeditions, is sponsored by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association. Volunteers from across the State lead activities to encourage enjoyment of the outdoors in forests, parks, and along rivers and streams. Read more about Connecticut Forest & Park Assocation at CFPA.

• GIANT Week-long Tag Sale    June 9 to 17Tag Sale from 9:00 to 2:00 each day.
At the former cider barn, 330 Bush Hill Road, Manchester (between Keeney Street and Hillstown Road). Fundraiser to benefit the Land Trust. MOUNTAINS of books, dishes, tools, artwork, curiosities, furniture, machinery, household and sports items, near-antiques, glassware, and items both useful and decorative. Accepting donations (no clothes, no computers, no TVs, please) Fridays & Saturdays, May 5 & 6, 12 & 13, 19 & 20, (not Memorial Day weekend)AND June 2 & 3, from 11 to 2 each day; or phone for other drop-off times: Terry at 860-643-1823. You can print a tag sale poster here. We will be selling all donated items. The Land Trust bought this 62-acre property with the help of grants from the State of Connecticut and the Town of Manchester; now we need to pay off the mortgage we needed to take out to match funds received from the grants! For a flyer with an aerial view of the farm and a summary of its significance in protecting open space, see Farm at Bush Hill Road.

• Farm walk    Saturday, June 24 at 1:00 p.m.
1945FarmCome for a hike at the Land Trust's 62-acre farm on Bush Hill Rd., Manchester, and Bell St., Glastonbury. Meet at the old cider barn, 330 Bush Hill Road, Manchester and join board members of the Land Trust for trek to see the Bush Hill high point, and out to the Glastonbury portion of the property, with its babbling brook. The event is free, and will be held rain or shine, but extreme weather cancels. Moderately paced with hills, bumps, and some wet spots. About two-and-a-half miles. The Botti family farmed this property starting about 1912 Ė growing apples, peaches, cherries, and blueberries as well as vegetables. With volunteer help, trails are now in place with blazes to guide hikers. No dogs, please. 1945 photo at right shows Louis and Emilio Botti working at the orchard. Click farm flyer for a map of the area, showing its connection to nearby open space.

• Cheney Railroad History Walk    Saturday, July 29 at 1:00 p.m.
SMRRDepotNrCheneyHall.c1900WEB.jpg South to North! NOTE LOCATION for beginning of this walk: Meet at the office steps, Fuss & O'Neill, 146 Hartford Road, Manchester. Hikers will trace the route of the former railroad, built in 1869 to connect the Cheney silk mills to the main rail line in the North End. At 2.5 miles, it was the shortest private freight-and-passenger railroad in the United States. We will start our hike in the South End, heading north toward Center Springs Park, where we will see the foot-bridge over Bigelow Brook. Some of the hike will be along roads overlooking the old railbed, and after we cross Center Street, the terrain may be a bit difficult and hilly. Depending on the weather, the hike may continue to Middle Turnpike or beyond, so could be up to 5 miles round trip. Extreme weather cancels. No dogs, please. FREE. 1900 photo at right shows the depot of the South Manchester Railroad, located at that time just to the east of Cheney Hall. The depot was moved farther north in 1910, and is no longer in existence.
Click here to see information about the history of the Cheney Railroad on the Manchester Historical Society's website. To enjoy the trail on your own, print a copy of this railroad map.


• Salter's Pond hike    Saturday, August 26 at 1:00 p.m.
SaltersOct2009Small.JPG Come for a FREE moderately paced one-mile scenic walk on the loop trail at Salter's Pond, starting at the parking lot of Salter's pool, Lydall St. (across from intersection of Lydall St. and Coleman Road), Manchester -- plenty of parking. Salterís Pond got its name from Lorenzo T. Salter who, in partnership with Mr. Strong, founded the Salter and Strong paper mill, which became Lydall paper mill. Many North End residents learned to swim at Salterís Pond before the town swimming pool was built. In the 1950s, cows grazed in the meadow of the farm across the pond. Our walk will include some historic commentary. The walk may be wet depending on the weather, and hikers should wear sturdy footwear. The route is not mountainous, but does have stairs, hills, and bumpy spots, where roots stick out, so participants need to be agile. No dogs, please. Takes about 1 hour. The pond and adjacent land is owned by the Manchester Land Conservation Trust. Questions may be directed to the Land Trust webmaster at info@manchesterlandtrust.org.
Click here for info about the Lydallville section of Manchester on the Manchester Historical Society's website.

• Talcottville walk    Saturday, October 14 at 1:00 p.m.
TalcottvilleGor.Small.jpg The Northern Connecticut Land Trust invites the public to a Talcottville walk featuring geology, history, and preserved open space land in the "Talcottville" section of Vernon along Route 83 and the Hockanum River. Meet in the parking lot at the Talcottville Congregational Church, 10 Elm Hill Road, Vernon, for a three-mile hike to see the Talcottville gorge, historic bridges and buildings, and the sites of former mills. Geologically, the walk will start out on the Portland Arkose, take us over the eastern border fault into the border fault deformed zone, then into the Glastonbury Gneiss, and sand and gravel deposits. Some of the terrain is steep and bumpy, so please wear sturdy sneakers or shoes, and be prepared for some wet spots. Speakers include geologist Gary Robbins, Susan Barlow, and Jon Roe, webmaster of the Tankerhoosan and Talcottville web sites: Tankerhoosen and Talcottville. Photo of the falls at the Talcottville Gorge by Jon Roe. The hike will be held rain or shine, but extreme weather cancels.

 
Join us for free hikes, scheduled throughout the year. All welcome.

Help us preserve and maintain open space lands in the Greater Manchester area.