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Science and nature attractions in Mystic CT can enrich your vacation

Animal Rescue Clinic 500x250 - Mystic Aquarium - Mystic, CT
Mystic Aquarium

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

Science and the natural world are at the heart of this educational and fun-to-visit aquarium

Science is at the heart of the Mystic Aquarium, where visitors can learn about everything from the latest marine conservation efforts to how to protect Beluga whales. Visitors can observe the whales in the Arctic Coast, the country’s largest outdoor beluga whale habitat. They can also watch seals and sea lions, feel stingrays and sharks in touch habitats and get up close and personal with an African penguin in a scheduled animal encounter. The Covanta Cove game shows how marine debris can be converted into clean energy, and the interactive Discover Long Island Sound exhibit includes a touch experience with horseshoe crabs. Nature’s most fascinating creatures like the Giant Pacific Octopus and Giant Japanese Spider Crabs are highlighted in the Weird and Wonderful exhibit.
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.
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.
Barn Island State Wildlife Management Area

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.
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Dennis Farm

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

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.
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.
Pudding Hill Wildlife Area

Route 97 Scotland, CT Phone:

Wildlife area with fishing, hiking and small game hunting.
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.
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.
Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center

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

Discover live owls, turtles, frogs, and snakes in new natural history exhibits. Experience “A Night in the Meadow” theater, 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.
Hours: Year-round, Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: 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.
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/
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