Hikes & Events


Greist pond,  Ironwoods Preserve

Saturday, April 7, 1:00 p.m.
Local History Hike, Ironwoods Preserve

Join MLCT President Ben Diebold for a hike through one of our most scenic properties.  The preserve features rocky outcrops, vernal pools and a lovely pond.  See the historic remains of the bog iron works, dating to the late 18th century.  Learn about the people who mined iron out of local bogs, how they did it and what the iron was used for.  Meet at the trailhead on Race Hill Road, north of Route 80.

Summer Hill Trail

Beaver pond, Summer Hill Preserve

Sunday, April 22, 1:00 p.m.
Earth Day Invasive Plants Talk and Hike, NMCC and Summer Hill Preserve

Meet at the North Madison Congregational Church for a short presentation by Heather Crawford about local invasive species.  We will learn how to identify and control these plants, and understand why they are so destructive to the balance of nature.  Next, we will carpool to a nearby trail on Summer Hill Rd and put what we’ve learned into action.  Please bring pruners and work gloves.

Michael botanizing

Michael botanizing

Sunday, April 29, 1:00 p.m.
Botany Hike, Neck River Uplands North Preserve

Join Yale botanist Michael Donoghue for some spring botanizing.  The Neck River Uplands support an assortment of flora, from the trees and shrubs on the rocky plateaus to the ferns and mosses near the streams that flow into the Neck River.  Waterproof footwear is recommended.  No dogs, please.  Meet at the trailhead on Princess Drive.

Bird nerds

Bird nerds

Saturday, May 19, 8:00 a.m.
Spring Birding Hike, Rettich Preserve

Join nationally recognized wildlife artist and birder Mike DiGiorgio for a spring nature walk with an emphasis on birds.  With its location along the Hammonasset River, the Rettich Preserve is an excellent site to spot waterfowl and migrant songbirds.  Binoculars are recommended.  This will be a quiet hike, since we’ll be locating birds with their calls.  No dogs, please.  Meet by the parking area at 274 River Road.

Dave's kids

Dave’s kids

Sunday, June 3, 1:00 p.m.
Amphibian Hike, Blinnshed Loop

Join Yale ecologists Kealoha Freidenburg and David Skelly on a Connecticut Trails Day hike to search for frogs, toads, salamanders and newts.   Please wear boots and bring a dip net if you have one.  The trail features extensive wetlands and old logging roads through the woods.  The hike will run rain or shine.  No dogs, please.  Meet in the parking lot of The Country School at the intersection of Opening Hill and Blinnshed Roads.


Sunday, July 29, 10:00 a.m.
Foraging Hike, Rettich Preserve

In partnership with Madison Earth Care and their in-house herbalist Taylor Lavenu Gendron, join us for a morning plant identification walk through Rettich Preserve.  We will identify native, non-native and invasive species and discuss their medicinal, culinary and historical use.  We will talk about ethical wild gathering and cover basic medicine-making skills to turn your foraged finds into potent, nutrient dense medicine.  Meet by the parking area at 274 River Road.


Sunday, October 21, 7:00 p.m.
Autumn Moonlight Walk

Bring a flashlight and join us for an evening stroll on the Garvan Trail at the Surf Club.  A bagpiper will lead the way.  After the walk, refreshments will be served in the Surf Club building, and members of the Astronomical Society of New Haven will set up telescopes for viewing the moon, planets and stars in the night-time sky.

Friday, November 9, 7:00 p.m.
Annual Meeting, North Madison Congregational Church

Guest speaker Eric D. Lehman is the author of eleven books about Connecticut, including the “Insiders’ Guide to Connecticut,” and “Connecticut Vanguards.” His book, “Afoot in Connecticut,” is a love letter to our often overlooked state, an inspirational story that will have you taking to the trails and the greenways, along the beaches and mountaintops, and into a land full of transformation, of beauty, and of strength. In his talk he will discuss how he fell in love with the natural beauty of our state by walking the paths and trails, and share some of his most interesting adventures. He will also discuss ideas about using our small size and trail network to our advantage, and how local groups like the Madison Land Trust can help.