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.

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.
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.
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 pre-register for these programs by calling 860-424-3011 or email Programs are free. An adult must accompany children under 12 years old. No pets allowed!
January 1, 2019 (Tues.), 10:00 a.m. First Day Hike
Begin 2019 with fresh air and a hike led by Friends of Sessions Woods Director Jan Gatzuras. The 5.5-mile loop hike will include The Great Wall and the backside of the Beaver Marsh. The terrain is moderately difficult, but the pace will be comfortable. If participants are lucky, they may even see some bobcat, fisher, or river otter tracks! Please meet at the kiosk in the Sessions Woods parking lot. Registration is not necessary but recommended in case of a cancellation due to severe weather.
January 20, 2019 (Sun.), 1:30 p.m. Bird Brains! (Snowdate, January 27)
Cabin Fever got you down? All are welcome to join the Friends of Sessions Woods and Horizon Wings for “Bird Brains!” Mary-Beth Kaeser from Horizon Wings will bring four avian ambassadors (crow, falcon, barn owl, and macaw) to Sessions Woods for a talk to compare and contrast the fascinating qualities of avian intelligence. Did you know that crows are capable of recognizing and remembering individual faces and can teach their children which individuals to avoid? Far from being “hard-wired” as previously thought, recent research proves that birds actually possess sophisticated cognitive abilities. Indeed, responding to changing conditions by changing the way they act, is often crucial to their survival. There will be a dessert potluck at 1:00 p.m. prior to the program. Please bring a dessert to share. This program is made possible through the Friends of Sessions Woods Paul Petersen Educational Fund.
February 23, 2019 (Sat.), 1:30 p.m. Wildlife Tracking
Wildlife Biologist and Habitat Manager Pete Picone will lead participants on a hike to identify the tracks and signs of wildlife at the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area. Past tracking events provided insight on bobcat, fisher, coyote, cottontail rabbits, wild turkey, and squirrels. Please be sure to dress for outdoor, winter conditions and wear appropriate footwear. The hike will be approximately 2 miles. Register early for this popular program!
March 17, 2019 (Sun.), 9:30 a.m. March Mushroom Madness
The CT Valley Mycological Society (CVMC) welcomes members and non-members to their annual meeting at Sessions Woods for an enlightening indoor presentation on mushrooms. The meeting provides an opportunity to talk with others interested in the field of mycology and view some of the resources available to learn more about mushrooms. The CVMC meeting includes a coffee and refreshment half hour beginning at 9:30 a.m., followed by the program at approximately 10:00 a.m.
Additional Resources:

Sessions Woods Trail Map (PDF)
Sessions Woods Topographical 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 December 6, 2018.