DEEP: Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area

Sessions Woods WMA

{Guided trail hike} {Sessions Woods Sign} {Exhibit room}
Hours: The Sessions Woods Wildlife Division office and Exhibit Area (directions) are regularly open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM-4:00 PM (except holidays). The trails are open from sunrise to sunset.
Upcoming Programs at the Sessions Woods Conservation Education Center
Visitors to Sessions Woods are advised to “Be Bear Aware” when hiking the trails. Black bears are commonly observed at the area and along the trails. Before starting your hike, become familiar with what you should do if you encounter a bear.
ATTENTION: The beaver marsh boardwalk at the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area is currently closed for repairs until further notice. Wheelchair and public access will not be available until the repairs are completed.

For a full listing of other DEEP events, go to the
DEEP Calendar of Events Page

Learn About Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat Firsthand

The biggest threat facing Connecticut's wildlife species is the loss of habitat. As more land is developed, there is less land that wildlife can call home. Because more than 90 percent of our state's acreage is privately owned, both large and small landowners, as well as all Connecticut residents, must play a critical role in Connecticut's wildlife conservation efforts. To meet this need, the Wildlife Division established the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area (WMA), located in Burlington, Connecticut. The purchase was made possible with the help of sportsmen-generated Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration (Pittman-Robertson) funds. More than just a tract of natural land set aside for wildlife, Sessions Woods WMA introduces visitors to wildlife and natural resources management through various educational programs, demonstration sites, self-guided hiking trails, and displays. Visitors will develop a better understanding of the Wildlife Division's role in managing Connecticut's wildlife populations, as well as learn about what they can do to have a positive impact on the future of Connecticut's wildlife and other natural resources.
{Partnering to fund conservation and connect people with nature.}
The Focus of Sessions Woods WMA

Sessions Woods WMA focuses on conservation education, with facilities to bring school groups, the general public and natural resource professionals from throughout Connecticut and the region to participate in educational programs, demonstrations, and workshops pertaining to wildlife and natural resource management. These facilities include an education center with an exhibit area and a large meeting room, as well as interpretive trails, and habitat management demonstration sites. Sessions Woods WMA offers conservation education programs that use the expertise of Wildlife Division and other DEEP natural resource management staff. Staff may also be available, by appointment, to conduct group educational programs at the Center and to give technical assistance and professional advice to visitors on an individual basis.

Wildlife for the Future

The future of Connecticut's wildlife resources depends largely on citizens' involvement and concern. The educational and interpretive features of Sessions Woods WMA encourage public awareness, understanding, and enjoyment of wildlife. Please join the Connecticut Wildlife Division in meeting the challenge of wildlife conservation and management.

When you walk the wildlife habitat trails at Sessions Woods WMA, in Burlington, you experience more than just the benefits of a healthy hike. Demonstrations of wildlife and habitat management practices are featured along the Beaver Pond Trail, Forest Meadow Trail, and in the Backyard Habitat Demonstration Area.

For a safe and enjoyable visit, please observe the following rules:

  • Trails open at sunrise and close at sunset.
  • Dogs must be on a leash at all times.
  • Carry out what you carry in.
  • Motorized vehicles, horses, and horseback riding are prohibited.
  • Fires and unauthorized camping are not allowed. Youth group camping coordinated with programs or activities at Sessions Woods is available by permit.
  • Collecting of plants and wildlife or feeding of wildlife are prohibited.
  • Bowhunting and waterfowl hunting are by special permit only. Inquire at the office for details.

Be careful of poison ivy along the trails and check yourself thoroughly for ticks.

Sessions Woods Conservation Education Center Public Program Series

The Sessions Woods Conservation Education Center’s Public Program Series is a cooperative venture between the CT DEEP Wildlife Division and the Friends of Sessions Woods. Please register for these programs by calling 860-424-3011 or email Programs are free, unless noted otherwise. An adult must accompany children under 12 years old. No pets allowed!

July 17, 2019 (Wednesday), 10:00 AM. Butterflies!
DEEP Wildlife Division Natural Resource Educator Laura Rogers-Castro will provide participants with a lesson on the basics to butterfly identification, including tips on distinguishing the various butterfly families. Following a brief indoor program, Laura will guide the group on a walk to identify the local butterfly fauna at Sessions Woods. Meet in the classroom located in the exhibit room of the Education Center. Inclement weather cancels. (Butterflies are most active on sunny days!) This program is appropriate for ages 8 years and older. No exceptions please!

August 24, 2019 (Saturday), 8:30 AM. The American Chestnut Tree Talk and Hike
The American chestnut was once the dominant tree in our forests. A century ago, it was eradicated from the landscape by a fungal blight. Learn the story of the American chestnut and the efforts to bring this iconic tree back to the eastern woodlands with Connecticut Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation President Jack Swatt. Jack will provide an introductory lesson inside, followed by a hike outside to see chestnuts on the trails at Sessions Woods. The hike will be approximately 2 miles roundtrip. Bring water and wear sturdy shoes.

Additional Resources

Sessions Woods Trail Map (PDF)
Sessions Woods Tree ID Trail Guide (PDF)
The Birds of Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area (PDF)

How To Get There
{Map of Sessions Woods WMA location.}
Sessions Woods WMA and Conservation Education Center is located on Route 69, about three miles south of Route 4 in Burlington and three miles north of Route 6 in Bristol.
For more information about features, activities, and how you can become a "Friend of Sessions Woods", contact the Wildlife Division at:
Mailing Address
Sessions Woods WMA
P.O. Box 1550
Burlington, CT 06013-1550
Shipping Address
Sessions Woods WMA
341 Milford Street (Rte 69)
Burlington, CT 06013-1550
Content last updated July 3, 2019.