Manchester Land Conservation Trust

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

• Risley Park hike    Sunday, November 26 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 Trust’s 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 3.7-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 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.


• Stickney Hill walk    Saturday, December 9 at 12:00 NOON -- Note Time!
StickneyCome for a hike at this 15.9-acre property in Rockville. Meet at the eastern end of Pleasant Street (at the dead end). Park along the street. Land Trust board members will lead the walk, over steep terrain, to the high point. The event is free, and will be held rain or shine, but extreme weather cancels. Moderately paced with a steep hill and bumpy ground. Under a mile total, with some pauses to learn about the history and geology of the area. With volunteer work, trails are now in place with blazes to guide hikers. The locator map at right shows the oddly shaped property. Local historian Jon Roe said the area was inherited by businessman John Stickney in the mid-nineteenth century. Stickney owned the mill for which nearby Paper Mill Pond is named and built a house on an adjacent hill overlooking the Amerbelle complex. His daughter, Caroline Alathea Stickney Creevey, 1843-1920, wrote several popular books on botany, as well as “A Daughter of the Puritans,” an autobiography, available online through Google books, about her childhood in the area of Stickney Hill. Click Stickney Hill hike poster for more info.


• Highland Park history hike and climb    Saturday, December 16 at 1:00 p.m.
hpHikeTrail2_12292012.jpgMeet at the Land Trust boulder at the small parking lot on Spring Street near the bridge and waterfall, not far from the intersection of Spring Street and Glen Road, Manchester (GPS 670 Spring St.). The Land Trust owns a few properties in the Case Mountain area, including this one-acre parcel. We'll start with commentary on the Case Brothers National Historic District and then visit the paper mill and mansion areas. Those who want a short walk with history commentary may end their walk at the dam at Case Pond near Spring Street. For those who want a more strenuous event, we will continue uphill to the summit of Case Mountain. Steep, bumpy, and rocky terrain, but worth the effort, especially on a clear day, when the Heublein Tower is visible to the west. FREE. Please wear sturdy sneakers or hiking boots, and bring water. No dogs, please. Extreme weather cancels. Please check the street signs carefully before parking to avoid parking tickets. For vintage pictures and a story about the Highland Park section of Manchester, visit Case Brothers National Historic District.

• Farm walk    Saturday, January 27 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, snow, 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 – 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, February 24 at 1:00 p.m.
SMRRDepotNrCheneyHall.c1900WEB.jpgNOTE 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 large footbridge over Bigelow Brook. Some of 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.


• Earth Day: Highland Park history hike and climb   Sunday, April 22 at 1:00 p.m.
CaseMtnHike7.31.2010.3554.jpg Meet at the Land Trust boulder at the small parking lot on Spring Street near the bridge and waterfall, not far from the intersection of Spring Street and Glen Road, Manchester (GPS 670 Spring St.). The Land Trust owns a few properties in the Case Mountain area, including this one-acre parcel. We'll start with commentary on the Case Brothers National Historic District and then visit the paper mill and mansion areas. Those who want a short walk with history commentary may end their walk at the dam at Case Pond near Spring Street. For those who want a more strenuous event, we will continue uphill to the summit of Case Mountain. Steep, bumpy, and rocky terrain, but worth the effort, especially on a clear day, when the Heublein Tower is visible to the west. FREE. Please wear sturdy sneakers or hiking boots, and bring water. No dogs, please. Extreme weather cancels. Please check the street signs carefully before parking to avoid parking tickets. For vintage pictures and a story about the Highland Park section of Manchester, visit Case Brothers National Historic District.


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

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