Open Trails Day Updates

Free Open Trails Days at I-Park – Supplementary Information (revised 7/23/20) Please check this page for periodic updates
I-Park’s Guidelines for Open Trails Days
  • All attendees must reserve in advance for Open Trails via Eventbrite. For future walks, sign up for our e-mail list to get up-to-date information or check our website.
  • Visitors are only allowed on campus during public events or when arranged in advance with staff.
  • Pets are not permitted at I-Park due to the fragile nature of the landscape and some of the artworks.
  • Parking is available in the grass field to your left as you enter the gravel driveway.
  • Please Leave No Trace. Take only pictures – and please tag us on Instagram at #iparkCT or post them to our Facebook page.
  • Respect CT’s social distancing guidelines and wear face masks at check-in and when in close proximity to others.
Wayfinding Tips
Each Loop Trail consists of several individual trails or roadways. Please note the distinction between the Pond Path, which runs from the main campus to the pond, and the Pond Trail, which runs around the pond. Three recommended loops are marked on the map. All three Loop Trails converge on the Fire Road, just past Dave’s Trail. At that point, you’re headed back to the main campus. Note that arrows direct you along the route indicated on the map. Should you depart from predetermined route, the system of arrows may no longer be useful – though hopefully you can reconnect with the intended route by referring to the landmarks noted on your map.
  • The Main Loop Trail (black line on the map) is marked with white directional arrow along the various trails.
  • The Chalance Trail Loop (blue line on the map) is marked with yellow arrows along the various trails.
  • The Chill Hill Loop (orange line on the map) is marked with blue arrows in key locations – but, per the instructional sign at the top of Chill Hill, follow the pink surveyor’s flags to bring you down the hill and onto the Upper Fire Road. Hang a left at the bottom of the hill.
  • Bottled water, long pants and bug spray are strongly recommended. Be aware of ticks.
  • Hats/head coverings are recommended, particularly in the early morning, to minimize annoyance from deer flies. We also recommend putting some blue masking tape, sticky-side out, on your hat.
  • Only the trails marked on the map in black, blue or orange are open to the public. If you encounter a white horizontal ribbon, it means that that trail is closed for safety or other reasons.
  • A bathroom is available on the rear side of the Common Area, the green building behind the check-in table.
  • Seating is available in the following locations:
    • Along the climb up Chill Hill and at the top of Chill Hill
    • Piano Field
    • Performance Area
    • At the trailhead of Mie’s Trail
    • Spruce Bluff along Mie’s Trail
    • Quiet Area
  • Thantopolis Demonstration Area
  • Bonfire Area
  • Pine Circle
  • While we have made substantial improvements to our trails this year, many still have exposed roots, stumps and rocks – and holes made by animals. Please pay attention. Orange safety cones have been placed in locations where this condition is extreme.
  • Walking up Chill Hill may be physically demanding for some, but a great workout for others. The walk up takes about 20 minutes if you don’t stop for a break. When at the top of the hill, you can either head back down the same way or read the sign at the top of the hill and follow the pink surveyor’s flags to go down the back of the hill. The pink flagged trail is mostly gentle and smooth but because of the angle of the declining slope, please take it slow – and do enjoy the view of the cliffs to your left! Take a left at the bottom of the hill onto the Upper Fire Road.
  • If at any time you think you may be lost or are otherwise in need of assistance, don’t hesitate to call Ralph at 860-919-1433. Please be prepared to describe nearby landmarks. That will make it easier for him to assist.
  • Be extremely careful when walking on the wooden boardwalks. Although they may appear to be dry, any moisture whatsoever, or plant materials weeping over the planks, can make for a slip hazard. Plus, our neighborhood bear has a nasty habit of relieving himself (#2) every day on the first plank of the boardwalk. If in doubt as to the condition of the boardwalk, use the shuffle-glide-walk-slowly technique to minimize risk of injury. The planks will likely be dry in most areas and only intermittently slippery in other places.
  • At the end of the boardwalk, you have a management decision to make. You can either proceed straight onto the Pond Trail or take the Gentle Detour which runs parallel to the Pond Trail. The Pond Trail has a beautiful moss surface but it’s loaded with exposed roots and rocks. As with all our moss trails, while the animals have done some damage to them, they are otherwise very hardy and they welcome your foot traffic. Take either trail – you’ll end up in the same place.
  • That said, please be very careful not to disturb the moss gardens along Mie’s Trails: the Bowl, Cypress Garden and Funnel. Those mosses happen to be very sensitive. In particular, do not climb up the berm in the Cypress Garden. Recovery from any damages caused there would literally take years.
  • Please do not climb up the Spruce Bluff. Any climbing will result in erosion. The Spruce Bluff is already under serious stress because of age, wood peckers and insect damage.
  • We ask that you not take any of the boats. or the Floating Living Room, out onto the pond – and that you not go swimming in the pond.
Still have questions or want to learn more about supporting I-Park or volunteering? E-mail Lydia at or give her a call at 860-873-2468 during business hours.
Presently Scheduled 2020 Free Open Trails Days Thursday, July 30, 9:00 am – 11:00 am Saturday, August 8, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm Saturday, August 22, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm Saturday, September 12, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
© Copyright 2021. I-Park Foundation, Inc.