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.

• Cheney Railroad History Walk    Saturday, October 28 at 1:00 p.m.
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 Farr’s 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.

• 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.

• Highland Park history hike and climb    Sunday, December 16 at 1:00 p.m.
CaseMtnHike7.31.2010.3554.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.

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

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