Sierra Club Connecticut Chapter - Greater Hartford Group




Monthly Meetings:

Meetings are held at Westmoor Park on the second Thursday of the month.  There are no meetings in July and August.  All meetings and outings are open to members and the general public.  New members are especially welcome.  Refreshments are served but please bring your own coffee mug.

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Howdy,
Let’s walk the rail to trail at Bolton Notch Pond on Sunday, April 19th.  We meet 10:00am at the Shady Glen restaurant, 840 Middle Turnpike East, Manchester, on Rte. 6 on the Manchester / Bolton line.  Please RSVP here yes only by Friday, April 3rd.  If you change your mind please tell me in case you were the only hiker.

Directions: Rte. I-84 E to Rte. 384 E, exit 5, Rte. 85.  End of ramp turn left.  Go up and down hill to a light.  That is Rte. 6.  Turn left.  Restaurant c. 1.5 miles ahead on left.  Friendly dogs are welcome but must be leashed as others approach us.  Messes on the trail must be removed.

All hikers, adults and children over 10 years old, with or without dogs, are welcome at this free drop in event as long as they refrain from cell phone use and smoking and are ok with dogs.  SNOW / RAIN CANCELS AS WELL AS REMAINING DEEP SNOW: PLEASE CHECK WITH ME DAY BEFORE.

Hope to see you on the trail!
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NEW! The Connecticut Chapter is pleased to introduce hikes geared toward younger adults. Please join us for the inaugural hike!

April 19, 2015 at 10:30a.m.  Young adult hike with the Sierra Club.  A 4.5 mile loop through People’s State Forest in Barkhamsted, including two outlooks over the Farmington River and Berkshire Hills, diverse forest, and historical village remains.  Prior hiking experience or physical conditioning required for the 650 foot strenuous, rocky ascent, moderating into rolling terrain.  Free.  All are welcome, especially those in their 20s and 30s.  No dogs, please.  Bring water, lunch, and sturdy shoes.  Heavy rain cancels.  Questions or carpooling contact Amanda at 860-416-0081 or email me here.

Directions:
From Hartford take Route 44 West for about 15-20 miles, or from Waterbury take Route 8 North to Winsted and follow Route 44 East for about 3 miles.

From the junction of Routes 44 and 318 in Barkhamsted, turn onto Route 318. Cross the bridge over the Farmington River and immediately turn left onto East River Road.  Continue for 2.5 miles to a small dirt parking area on the left.  Meet at trail head for Jesse Girard Trail, across from parking area.

All participants on Sierra Club outings are required to sign a standard liability waiver.  If you would like to read the liability waiver before you choose to participate on an outing, please go to, or contact the Outings Department at (415) 977-5528 for a printed version.
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GREATER HARTFORD SIERRA CLUB OUTINGS MAY THROUGH JULY 2015

Free outings open to club members and the public. RSVP yes only here providing cell phone should weather require a change. Please, no cell phone use or smoking on these outings.  Safety vests required when kayaking.

Hike Penwood State Park, Sunday 5/10 10am (Simsbury, CT)

Before you take Mom to dinner on her day, let's walk with her or not, the rolling hills of Penwood State Park.  We meet at the parking lot just off the Rte. 185 park entrance, waiting no more than ten minutes for latecomers.
Directions: Rte. 91 to exit 35B, Rte. 218 west. Take 218 until you reach Rte. 189 north in Bloomfield.  Turn right onto Rte. 189 and continue north to Rte. 178.  Turn left onto 178 proceed to end where it intersects with Rte. 185.  Turn right onto Rte. 185.  Ahead about a mile on the right is park entrance.  You can mapquest/GPS Stafford Street and Hartford Road intersection in Simsbury, CT for a close site to park entrance.

Friendly dogs are welcome but must be leashed as others approach.  Messes on the trail must be removed.  Adults and children over 10 years old are welcome.   RAIN CANCELS.  RSVP by 5/09.


Kayak Mansfield Hollow, Saturday 5/23, 10am (Mansfield, CT).

Meet at 10am at the state boat launch on Bassett Bridge Road, Mansfield, CT.  No fee to launch and free parking.  We'll paddle this 460 acre reservoir created by the damning of the Natchaug River.  Great diversity of scenery and birds.  Map of trip available at: http://www.bostonkayaker.com/cgi-bin/bkonekpage.cgi?pagekey=mansfieldhollow

We’ll go through a small culvert on the right that leads to the other half of the reservoir. This place is bigger than it looks and includes the dam and a river to investigate.  After we paddled that side, we’ll come back through the culvert and may head out to the other side of the lake with two inlet rivers at the far end.   RSVP by 5/22.

 
Kayak Lake Williams, Sunday, 5/24 10am (Lebanon, CT).

This 250-acre pond is 2.5 miles long.  About 3/4 of the shoreline is undeveloped with mostly deep woods surrounding.  It has seven islands in the southern end of the lake, two with houses.  A nice contrast to the open lake is the far east end's secluded pond, guarded by small rocky islands.

Directions: Take Rte. 2 to Rte.66E to Rte. 85S to Rte. 207.  Access is easy put in at southern end of lake at intersection of Rte. 207 (Old Exeter Road)  and Colchester Road.  Small parking lot there.  RSVP by 5/23.

 
Kayak Pachaug Pond, Sunday, 5/30 10am, (Griswold, CT)

Meet at the Pachaug Pond boat launch, 945 Voluntown Road, Griswold, CT  We’ll paddle southward and back doing the perimeter of this 841 acre lake that is lightly populated for a quiet paddle.  It’s the largest CT public water body east of the CT River and has many fish to attract anglers. Map of pond and this trip at: http://www.bostonkayaker.com/cgi-bin/bkonekpage.cgi?pagekey=pachaugpond

Directions: boat launch is at north end of pond off Rte. 138.  From central CT take Rte. 2 East to Rte. 395 North.  Take exit 85 for Rte. 164 toward CT-138/Preston City/Pachaug.  Go ahead .6 miles then turn right onto Rte. 138.  Boat ramp is 2.3 miles ahead.  If you reach Rte. 395 you’ve gone too far. Bring lunch to enjoy in boat and/or we can hit the town for supper.   RSVP by 5/29.


Hike Bolton Notch Pond, Saturday, 6/13 10am (Bolton, CT)

Let’s walk the rail to trail at Bolton Notch Pond. We meet 10:00am at the Shady Glen restaurant, 840 Middle Turnpike East, Manchester, on Rte. 6 on the Manchester / Bolton line. Directions: Rte. I-84 E to Rte. 384 E, exit 5, Rte. 85.  End of ramp turn left.  Go up and down hill to a light.  That is Rte. 6.  Turn left.  Restaurant c. 1.5 miles ahead on left. Friendly dogs are welcome to run as we walk but must be leashed as others approach us.  Messes on the trail must be removed.  All adults and children  over 10 years old are welcome.  RAIN CANCELS.  RSVP by 6/12.

Kayak Essex Cove and Turtle Creek, Sunday 6/14, 10am (Essex, CT).

Meet at the town of Essex Kayak/Canoe launch off Teal Road just north of the town center. We’ll paddle to the island opposite the museum and into Turtle Creek Cove off the CT River. Plus cross the river seeking eagles on the island. This lush Nature Conservancy property is a a tidal estuary whose channel supports wild rice and eel grass in bracken tidal marshes.  In May it’s blooming amid mountain laurel thickets and beech groves.  

Directions: For GPS use 1 Teal Lane, Essex. Take Rte. 9 to exit 3, Rte. 154, then left onto West Avenue, veering left onto N. Main Street and immediate right onto Bushnell Street where you see a marina. Go left onto Teal Lane. Grassy parking lot and easy put in setup for kayaks/canoes.  Bring lunch to enjoy in boat and/or we can hit the town for supper.   RSVP by 6/13.


Kayak Great Island Wildlife Area, Sunday,6/20, 10am (Old Lyme, CT).

Meet at the Great Island state Boat Launch, Smith Neck Road, Old Lyme.  We will explore the secluded back channels, side rivers, and coves that parallel the lower Connecticut River near the mouth on the east side, winding through 10-foot-tall marsh reeds in one of CT’s largest brackish tidal marshes and a barrier beach that teem with birdlife especially at this premigration feeding period.  You can access a guide to this area at: http://www.crerpa.org/RiverandSound/oldlymetrail.pdf

Directions: From the East: Take I-95 South to Exit 70. At the end of the exit ramp, turn left onto Lyme Street and proceed .8 miles. Next, turn right onto Ferry Road, and continue 0.3 miles. Turn left onto Route 156/Shore Road and proceed 1.3 miles. Turn right onto Smith Neck Road and follow .7 miles (to its end).

From the West: Take I-95 North to Exit 70. At the end of the exit ramp, turn right onto Route 156/Shore Road and continue 1.7 miles. Next, turn right onto Smith Neck Road, and proceed .7 miles (to its end).  Bring lunch to enjoy in boat and/or we can hit the town for supper.  RSVP by 6/19.


Kayak East River and Neck River, Saturday 6/27 10am (Madison, CT)

We’ll meet at the East River boat launch off. off Rte 1, Neck Road, and Circle Beach Road in Madision.  It's at the end of a rutted beach road.  Parking lot and access road are partially submerged at high tide but not enough to worry about. http://www.lisrc.uconn.edu/coastalaccess/site.asp?siteid=464 is DEEP web site with directions.

We'll head north up East River until it branches with the Neck River to the right.   Both have a lot of bird life easily visible on this quiet river water with surrounding marshes, until Bailey Creek veers off to the left.    RSVP by 6/26.


Kayak Bluff Point, Sunday, 6/28 10am (Groton, CT).

Meet at the state boat launch at 44 Depot Road, Groton.  No fee to launch and free parking. We’ll paddle in the vicinity of this 800-acre peninsula that includes the state park, a coastal reserve and natural preserve surrounded by Mumford Cove to the east, Fishers Island Sound to the south and the Poquonnock River to the west.   The shallow and protected open water is excellent for kayaking. We’ll paddle down the river then behind a large sandy peninsula with a 50’ portage if we wish to enjoy the beach and launch after from there to explore a couple harbor islands before returning to the original launch site.

Directions: Rte. 95 along the shore to Route 1, south on Depot Road, go under train trestle at the end.  Launch is at the end of the road to the west of the park entrance. /or we can hit the town for supper.  RSVP by 6/27.


Kayak Rainbow Reservoir and Farmington River, Friday 7/3 (work holiday) 10am (Windsor, CT).

Meet at boat launch at 118 Merriman Road, Windsor, CT.  No fee to launch and free parking. We’ll paddle the 243 acre reservoir that is tree lined with only a few houses set back from the water.  Then head up the Farmington River towards North Bloomfield and even Simsbury before returning to the launch site. Map of area and trip route at:  http://www.bostonkayaker.com/cgi-bin/bkonekpage.cgi?pagekey=farmingtonrainbow  RSVP by 7/2.

Kayak Gardner Lake Sunday 7/5 10am (Salem CT).

Meet at Gardner Lake state boat launch, 147 Old Colchester Road, Salem.   This is a 528 acre lake with many nooks to investigate.  Hopefully eagles will be there again as they were last year! Free launch and parking.  Plus there's a small beach area to swim and picnic after we paddle, so bring food and a swimsuit.

Directions: From the junction of Route 354 and Route 82 in Salem, proceed north on Route 354 for 0.1 mile and turn right into the boat launch area. Safety vests must be worn at all times. Please no cell phone use or smoking on the water.  RSVP by 7/3.



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