Public places offer lots of walking and hiking in Fairfield and southwest CT
10 Woodside Lane
Natural history museum with exhibits for children, live animals, trails, playground and a gift shop are all part of this wildlife sanctuary. This 62-acre property has several easy trails, including a universal access trail that can be used by people in wheelchairs or using walkers. It is an old farm and still shows evidence of stone walls, open fields, and wagon roads through the woods. Dogs are not permitted on the trails.
Admission: Adults and children older than 12, $7; children and seniors, $5. Grounds and outdoor bird enclosures free.
Hours: Open: Year-round, daily except major holidays.
613 Riversville Road
This full-service nature center with lots of exhibits and activities also offers 7 miles of walking trails. See full description
of Audubon Center of Greenwich.
Connecticut Audubon Society Birdcraft Museum and Sanctuary
314 Unquowa Road
Fairfield, CT, 06824
Historic museum highlights natural history of the state with dioramas, wildlife exhibits, and dinosaur footprints. Adjacent 6-acre sanctuary with trails.
Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The six-acre Birdcraft Sanctuary is open daily, year-round, from dawn to dusk.
151 Brookdale Road
This large property offers nature viewing and education, along with lots of marked walking trails. Guided tours during warm seasons visit the Cottage, Perennial & Sundial Gardens; Red Maple Wetlands & Wildflower Meadow; Fall Wildflower & Tree Identification; and Champion & Notable Tree Collection.
See full description
of Barlette Arboretum.
New Canaan Nature Center
144 Oenoke Ridge
New Canaan, CT, 06840
Take a fascinating look into the science and nature in the area. Set on 40 acres, the nature center features gardens and a solar-heated greenhouse, as well as many trails, exhibits, an arboretum, live animals, and a maple sugar shed.
Hours: Grounds open dawn to dusk daily; buildings and officer open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Donation requested.
Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Fairfield -- Larsen Wildlife Sanctuary
2325 Burr Street
The Larsen Sanctuary is next to the Audubon Center at Fairfield. The land has streams, ponds, forest, fields, and seven miles of trails and boardwalks with information signs. There is a wheelchair-accessible trail call the Chiboucas Trail. A brochure and trail map are available at the Center. There is an admission fee except for Audubon members and Fairfield residents.
Mianus River Preserve & Park / Cary Road Nature Preserve / Mianus Pond
Greenwich/Stamford border, CT
This preserve begins 1,000 feet north of the Post Road on the eastern side of Mianus Pond. It is a haven for hikers, with undisturbed woods and a steep shoreline and lovely views. Foot access is from the northern ends of Westview Place and Cary Road.
To get there: Take U.S. 1 toward Stamford; after leaving Cos Cob and crossing the Mianus Bridge turn left onto Cary Road. Mianus Park is on Cary Road.
Hours: Year-round, daily, daylight hours.
Sweet riverside park for water sports and picnicking. Easy walking trails along the river.
This park along the Houstonic River has mapped walking trails through beautiful woods. Park map
See full description
of Indian Well State Park
33 Pent Road
This is the Nature Conservancy’s largest preserve in Connecticut. It protects part of the watershed of the Saugatuck River. The property includes woodlands, wetlands and rock ledges and a series of north-south ridges and valleys woven with streams and swamps. Good place for hiking and bird watching.