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June 1, 2012 Areawide, Arts & Entertainment, Local News No Comments

Copies of the 2012 Connecticut Trails Day booklet of events are now available in public libraries and can be downloaded from http://www.ctwoodlands.org/CT-TrailsDay2012

Besides Victorian Days in Willimantic (through June 3) and the return of the Coventry Regional Farmers Market on Sunday (June 3), here are a couple of get-out-the-door events coming up: Connecticut Trails Day on June 2-3 and the 8th Annual Connecticut Open House Day on Saturday, June 9.

This year’s theme for Connecticut Trails Day is “America’s Largest TRAILgating Party.” You have a choice of 193 events in 121 towns with more than 540 miles of trails.

Connecticut’s event is part of National Trails Day, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2012.

Activities include hiking, biking, horseback riding, running, trail maintenance, kayaking, educational walks, bird watching, geocaching and more.

While public libraries now have copies of the 2012 booklet that lists all the events, you can also download an electronic copy from the web site at http://www.ctwoodlands.org/CT-TrailsDay2012

And you can keep up to date on the Connecticut Forest and Park Assoc. Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CTForestandParkAssociation

The booklet is also handy for discovering hiking, biking and paddling places to explore all summer and fall.

On the Annual Connecticut Open House Day, museums and other historic sites (as well as many artists’ studios) throughout Connecticut open their doors for the season – in many cases offering free admission or free gifts.

The annual event is coordinated by the Connecticut Office of Tourism (a division of the Department of Economic and Community Development).

Here’s just a sample of what you might want to explore in the HTNP.com readership area:

  • In Ashford, the Willow Tree Pottery studio at 24 Bebbington Road will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pottery will be displayed in the gardens and studio. Visitors receive a handmade amulet or bead of clay. For more info, call 860-287-8056 or visit http://www.willowtreepottery.us
  • In Chester/Hadlyme, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors can ride for free aboard the Selden III, the second oldest continuously operated ferry service in Connecticut (at 54 Ferry Road/Route 148), which crosses the scenic Connecticut River near the Gillette Castle State Park (former home of the stage actor who made Sherlock Holmes famous). For more information, call 860-526-2743 or click here.
  • In East Haddam, from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., enjoy free tours of the historic Victorian theater built in 1876, the Goodspeed Opera House, at 6 Main St./Rte. 82. For more information, call 860-873-8668 or visit http://www.goodspeed.org
  • In East Hampton, visit Sears Park (65 North Main St.) with lovely views of Lake Pocotopaug to enjoy while picnicking – admission is free from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on this day only. For more information, call 860-267-7300 or visit http://www.easthamptonrec.com
  • In Lebanon, admission is free at the Jonathan Trumbull Jr. House Museum (780 Trumbull Hwy/Route 87, on the famous Lebanon Green) – there will be Colonial craft demonstrations, a mounted cavalryman portraying a French Army hussar (renowned for their elegant dress), and refreshments. Learn about the artist famous for his painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. For more information, call 860-642-7987 or click here And next door at the Lebanon Historical Society Museum, also from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., enjoy Model-T rides, farm animals and hands-on activities.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about the Revolutionary War, about archaeology or other sciences, find out just why people like Prudence Crandall and Jonathan Trumbull are famous, and otherwise discover new sights (and share them with your weekend visitors) in your own back yard – or farther afield, if you like.

One of the advantages of living in a postage-stamp-sized state is that you can drive to pretty much any part of Connecticut in two hours or less. This makes it easier to plan affordable day trips, and keep them short enough for energetic children.

You can explore the different sites that are taking part in Connecticut Open House Day by visiting http://www.ctvisit.com/dontmiss/details/211 But note that this list doesn’t include all the museums (and activities) in the state – if there’s one you’re curious about and you don’t see it on the Visit Connecticut site, call the museum directly and ask what they have planned.

Posted June 1, 2012

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