Science and nature attractions in Mystic CT can enrich your vacation
55 Coogan Boulevard
Mystic, CT, 06355
Where science and nature meet fun and learning
Get closer to marine life than you ever thought possible at Mystic Aquarium. Travel our indoor and outdoor exhibits to encounter thousands of creatures including beluga whales, African penguins, colorful fish and more. Be thrilled – or chilled – by the funky features of over 30 different species of amphibians. Touch sharks, stingrays and reptiles or gain a deeper appreciation for marine life by participating in an encounter program. Peek into our Animal Rescue Clinic and witness the efforts made to rescue and rehabilitate stranded seals. Learn how you can live sustainably during one of our daily trainer talks to discover how you can help in conservation efforts locally, nationally and even globally. Then, travel back in time to encounter breathing, clawing, roaring dinosaurs in ‘Jurassic Giants.’ Plus, enjoy special events, activities and more throughout the year that make Mystic Aquarium a destination worth revisiting often. SEA more at MysticAquarium.org.
Palmer Neck Road
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.
Center at Pomfret (Audubon Bird Conservation area)
218 Day Road
Pomfret Center, CT
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
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.
Pudding Hill Wildlife Area
Wildlife area with fishing, hiking and small game hunting.
Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
109 Pequotsepos Road
Mystic, CT, 06355
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.
Trolley Trail and Two Rivers Trail
These one mile trails are terrific locales for bird watching. The trails are on the site of the Quinebaug Valley Trout Hatchery.
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.
Ledyard Glacial Park and Avery Preserve
Entrances at Avery Hill Road, Avery Hill Extension, Whalehead Road
Hiking trails dot the landscape of this nature conservancy. Great for bird watching.
Science Center of Eastern Connecticut
33 Gallows Lane
New London, CT, 06320
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.
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.
off of Route 6 at 23 Potter Road
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.
Albert E. Moss Forest
Junction of Routes 195 and 275
This wildlife sanctuary is used as an outdoor laboratory by the University of Connecticut. Open to the general public.