Science and nature attractions in Mystic CT can enrich your vacation

55 Coogan Boulevard Mystic, CT, 06355 Phone: 860-572-5955

Science and the natural world meet at this special Aquarium

Enhance your learning curve on marine matters and life at this magnificent Mystic landmark. Indoor and outdoor exhibits get you up close to thousands of sea creatures including beluga whales, African penguins, colorful fish and more. 30 different species of frogs offer a unique perspective and you will be able to touch sharks, stingrays and reptiles. Participate in an encounter program and gain a deeper appreciation for the marine life. Stop in at the animal rescue clinic where you can observe the efforts made to rescue and rehabilitate stranded seals. Learn how to live sustainably and get involved in conservation efforts locally, nationally and even globally. The 4D and National Geographic Theaters offer captivating footage. Sea more at MysticAquarium.org.

12 Steamboat Wharf Mystic, CT, 06355 Phone: 860-536-0416

Islands, Estuaries, Salt Marshes and Seabirds

Sail through the islands and coastline of the Mystic River and Long Island Sound estuaries as you discover the natural history and beauty of our maritime world. Embark on the traditional sailing schooner Argia for a day sail or sunset cruise. Glide past salt marshes and shoreline that are home to osprey, herons, egrets, and more. Enjoy sun, ocean breezes, and peaceful surroundings…away from the hustle and bustle of land. You may sit back and relax as you watch the passing scenery or take a turn at the helm under sail. This cruise includes snacks and lemonade and you may bring your own picnic basket, bottle of wine, etc. US Coast Guard inspected.

May 1st through late mid-October, choose a day or sunset cruise aboard ARGIA!

Ledyard Glacial Park and Avery Preserve

Entrances at Avery Hill Road, Avery Hill Extension, Whalehead Road Ledyard, CT Phone:

Hiking trails dot the landscape of this nature conservancy. Great for bird watching.

Center at Pomfret (Audubon Bird Conservation area)

218 Day Road Pomfret Center, CT Phone: 860-928-4948

Maintained by the Connecticut Audubon Society. Designated trails run throughout the property. The Audobon Society hosts frequent guided birdwalks and workshops on gardening and area wildlife. The Center at Pomfret manages the 168-acre Trail Wood Sanctuary. See Santuary Map on Center's website
Hours: Trail Wood Sanctuary, year-round, daily, dawn to dusk
Information: www.ctaudubon.org/center-at-pomfret/

Yale Forest

Route 197 Union, CT Phone:

Yale University uses this forest for study and field work. Fishing is available in the forest. The blue-marked Nipmuck trail runs through the forest for hiking.

Science Center of Eastern Connecticut

33 Gallows Lane New London, CT, 06320 Phone: 860-442-0391

Can light be bent? Can sound waves be seen? Young and old can explore hands-on exhibits that will answer these questions... and more. Even have a birthday party or bring a group. Located in Connecticut Collage Arboretum with hiking trails and picnic tables. Open Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 8 pm and Sunday 1 pm to 5 pm. Members FREE. Non-members: Adults $6, children under 12 and senior citizens $4.

Trolley Trail and Two Rivers Trail

Cady Lane Plainfield, CT Phone:

These one mile trails are terrific locales for bird watching. The trails are on the site of the Quinebaug Valley Trout Hatchery.

off of Route 6 at 23 Potter Road Hampton, CT Phone:

Great for hiking on short or long trails; enjoying nature; a boat ramp is available

The vast trail system on this property -- which includes some managed forest areas -- includes trails with printed brochures that explain the plant life along the trail. Great place for enjoying nature and observing wildlife.
See full description of James L. Goodwin Forest.

Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center

109 Pequotsepos Road Mystic, CT, 06355 Phone: 860-536-1216

Open: Year-round, Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed January 1, Easter, Christmas

Discover live owls, turtles, frogs, and snakes in new natural history exhibits. Experience “A Night in the Meadow” theatre, hike up to 8 miles of trails on beautiful 300-acre sanctuary, and view birds of prey in outdoor flight enclosures. Excellent birding; picnic areas; wildflowers; gift shop. Open daily. Adults $6, Children 4.

Trail Wood

Kenyon Road Hampton, CT Phone:

This farm was owned by naturalist and author Edwin Way Teale. There are many nature programs held at the site, as well as three miles of trails for walking.

Palmer Neck Road Pawcatuck, CT Phone:

This wildlife conservation area is popular for enjoying nature, birdwatching, walking, and deer hunting, in season. It includes several interest ecosystems, including forests, salt marsh, and wetlands, Four miles of trails are available for hikers and walkers. Interpretive signs help educate visitors about the coastal region of Connecticut.

Albert E. Moss Forest

Junction of Routes 195 and 275 Mansfield, CT Phone:

This wildlife sanctuary is used as an outdoor laboratory by the University of Connecticut. Open to the general public.

Dennis Farm

Dennis Road Pomfret, CT Phone: 203-568-6270

Dennis Farm Dennis Road Pomfret, CT The Nature Conservancy maintains this two-mile trail, which is an old farm road, through former farm property. It is now mainly a forest of oaks, The Route passes a beaver pond and returns by way of Old Kings Highway, a grass-covered walk. Also a good site for cross-country skiing and bird watching.
Hours: Dawn to dusk.
Information: http://bit.ly/XjksXI

Pudding Hill Wildlife Area

Route 97 Scotland, CT Phone:

Wildlife area with fishing, hiking and small game hunting.