DEEP: Centennial Calendar of Events

{Calendar of Events - State Parks Centennial Celebration}

The Centennial Kick-Off
The Connecticut State Parks Centennial Celebration was launched on Thursday, August 1, 2013 at Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill.  

Centennial SoJourn (Summer Outdoor Journey)
The celebration continues with the Centennial SoJourn, a 169 mile trek (one mile for each CT community) which began Thursday, August 15 and continues thru Sunday, August 25.  The journey started at Quaddick State Park in northeast Connecticut and concludes in Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, Connecticut’s first state park, visiting nearly 20 state parks along the route.  Participants will bike, hike, paddle and camp along the route. 
SoJourn Activities
There will a number of SoJourn activities along the way that will be perfect opportunities for families to get outside and join the Centennial celebration.
Event:  Natchaug Trail Hike 
Location:  Natchaug State Forest, Pilfershire Road, Eastford
Date:  Friday, August 16, 2013
Time:  9 AM
Description:  Join John Folsom for a hike from Natchaug State Forest to Goodwin State Forest in Hampton.  The moderately easy hike is approximately 7.6 miles along the blue-blazed trail.  The trail is a nice one for families. FREE!
For more information: John Folsom or Lori Lindquist

Event:  Paddle the Hollow
Location:  Mansfield Hollow State Park, Bassett Bridge Rd., Mansfield
Date:  Friday, August 16, 2013
Time: 4 PM
Description:  Join Columbia Canoe & Kayak Club as they paddle the lesser used side of the Hollow. Up the Natchaug River. Meet at the boat launch on Bassett Bridge Road, Mansfield. Bring own canoe/kayak, paddles. Lifejackets must be worn.
For more information:   Sue Audette (860) 456-4906/  for registration/cancellation

Event:  Goodwin Center Walk
Location:  James L. Goodwin Conservation Center, 23 Potter Road, Hampton
Date:  Friday, August 16, 2013
Time: 2:30 PM
Description:  Environmental educators Juan Sanches and Emma Lorusso will lead an interpretive walk around the Goodwin Center Grounds focusing on the many specimen trees, some of which date back to James Goodwin's day. It's the 100th anniversary of Goodwin coming to Hampton to create "Pine Acres Farm".  FREE!
For more information:   Steve Broderick or 860-455-9534

Event:  No Child Left Inside® Centennial Campout
Location:  Gay City State Park, Route 85, Hebron
Date:  Saturday, August 17 – Sunday, August 18, 2013
Time: Begins on Saturday at noon
Description:  Family activities including astronomy program, bonfire, storytelling and a campout.  Pre-registration required by August 10. Bring your own camping equipment and food. FREE!
For more information:  Diane Joy, (860) 424-3973

Event:  Dinosaur State Park Days
Location:  Dinosaur State Park, 400 West St., Rocky Hill
Date:  Saturday, August 17 & Sunday, August 18, 2013
Time: 10 AM – 3 PM 
Description: A celebration of the 47th anniversary of the discovery of 2,000 early Jurassic dinosaur footprints in Rocky Hill.  The two-day event will feature a wide variety of programs for families including live animal demonstrations, nature walks, face painting and musical entertainment.
For more information: Meg Enkler

Event:  Essex Steam Train & Riverboat Ride (Registration Required)
Location:  The group will be leaving from the train station.  Site revealed through registration. Limited number.
Date:  Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Time: 8:30 AM
Description: Join the SoJourn team as we travel aboard the train and take a cruise on the Becky Thatcher.
For more information: Diane Joy, (860) 424-3973. Pre-registration by August 10, 2013. No admittance without confirmation.

Event:  Civilian Conservation Corps 80th Reunion
Location:  Chatfield Hollow State Park, 381 Route 80, Killingworth
Date:  Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Time: 12 PM
Description:  Description: Reunion of Civilian Conservation Corps alumni, family, & friends.  Celebrate the work that the “CCC boys” completed in Connecticut State Parks & Forests.
For more information:   Marty Podskoch or Alex Sokolow

Event:  Shoreline Greenway Ribbon-Cutting and Bike Ride
Location:  Hammonasset Beach State Park, 1288 Boston Post Rd., Madison
Date:  Thursday, August 22, 2013
Time: 10 AM
Description:  Join state and local dignitaries as we celebrate the work of volunteers who created a 220 foot long boardwalk over a tidal marsh. And then bring your bike and helment and come along on a 17 mile bike ride (34 mile round trip) to Farm River State Park, East Haven.
For more information:   Laurie Giannotti

Event:  A Day at the Beach & Camping Under the Stars
Location:  Silver Sands State Park, Park Way, Milford
Date:  Friday, August 23, 2013
Time: 10 AM
Description:  Bird walks, history talks and estuary explorations led by CT Audubon Society and DEEP staff.  A limited number of pre-registered guests will join the SoJourn crew for a camp-out on the beach.
For more information:  Joe Maler or Diane Joy (camping pre-registration)

Event: Year of the Snake
Location:  Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Ave., Bridgeport
Date:  Saturday, August 24, 2013
Time: 9 AM- 4 PM SoJourn Team will arrive around 1 PM.
Description:  Visit Beardsley Zoo (entrance fee) and learn about why 2013 has been proclaimed the Year of the Snake. The DEEP Wildlife Division will present on Connecticut’s native snake species.
For more information:  John

Event: SoJourn Finale - Reenactment of Sherwood Island Camp
Location:  Sherwood Island State Park, Westport
Date:  Sunday, August 25, 2013
Time: 10 AM - 2 PM
Description:  SoJourn travelers will be welcomed to Connecticut’s first state park with a reenactment on the original 5 acres, purchased in 1914 by the State Park Commission. Entrance fee to the State Park applies.  More info
For more information:  Jim Beschle (203) 226-6983


Statewide Birthday Parties
Statewide Birthday Parties will be held during the summer of 2014. The birthday parties, including refreshments at multiple state parks, will be free to the park goers and will include volunteer recruitment opportunities. Additionally, sand-sculpture building demonstrations are to be scheduled along with amateur sand sculpture contests.
The Sky's the Limit
Concluding the year-long celebration will be an event that will propel Connecticut State Parks into the next century. The event, entitled The Sky’s the Limit, is planned to include hot air balloons, kite flying and demonstrations, model airplanes, astronomy events, bird walks and much more!
Additional Events
Connecticut has 107 parks, each with its own special character and personality. To celebrate such diversity the Centennial committee is highlighting the efforts of Friends, civic groups and other organizations to help create more excitement and fun in each State Park.
Event:  Shorefest
Location:  Sherwood Island State Park, Westport
Date:  Friday, September 6, 2013
Time: TBD
Description: Annual lobster dinner and silent auction.
For more information: Friends of Sherwood Island

Event:  Harkness Family Day
Location:  Harkness Memorial State Park, Waterford
Date:  Sunday, September 8, 2013
Time: 11 AM – 4 PM
Description:  This year’s event will feature Games, Art and Science activities, Antique Auto and Farm equipment displays, Tours of the Eolia mansion, Tours of the Carriage House (open only this one day to the public)
For more information:   Friends of Harkness Memorial State Park

Event:  Great Gatsby Gala
Location:  Harkness Memorial State Park, Waterford
Date:  Saturday, September 28, 2013
Time: TBD
Description:  Fundraising gala
For more information:   Friends of Harkness Memorial State Park

Event:  Heublein Tower Toot
Location:  Talcott Mountain State Park, Simsbury
Date:  October 19 & 20, 2013
Time: TBD
Description:  25th annual celebration with fun family activities.
For more information:  Friends of Heublein Tower

Event: Winter Walk
Location:  Putnam Memorial State Park, Redding
Date:  Saturday, December 7, 2013
Time: TBD
Description:  Enjoy a guided hike around Putnam and learn why it is called Connecticut’s Valley Forge.
For more information:  Friends and Neighbors of Putnam Memorial State Park

Content last updated August 16, 2013