"In the woods is perpetual youth" - Emerson

GUIDED HIKES: 1-2 north of NYC, 2-3 hours west of Boston (click here)

Flanders Nature Center Woodbury, CT.

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Difficulty: Easy or Moderate

Main Attractions: Great educational facilities for children, scenic trails, open fields, farmland, diverse ecosystem, large ponds, theme trails.

10 day forecast

Nearby Hikes:
Orenaug Park

Flanders Nature Center in Woodbury, CT. offers a wide variety of trails that visually stimulate and educate.  All of the trails have a theme such as "Botany", "Geology", etc.  If you've ever wondered the names of certain trees, flowers, or bushes, you'll find some answers here.  As you stroll through woods, open fields, around ponds, and over streams, you can stop and read about the ecosystem.  The trail system is well maintained and easy to follow.  Individual trails are color coded and you can combine numerous trails to venture off on long hikes, or just hop out of the car for some fresh air and a short walk.  The terrain is mostly flat and there or no overlooks or observation towers at Flander's.  Located in the middle of all the trails is an information center.  It's a great resource for all kinds of information including upcoming events sponsored by Flander's such as an Amateur Astronomy Night or children's activities.  The Center's programs are posted on the information center or back near the entrance to Flander's.  You can also visit their web site for updates and to see what's going on the day you plan to visit. http://www.flandersnaturecenter.org   Flander's Nature Center is a wonderful place to bring children and introduce them nature or you can just venture off on a nice peaceful hike if you're going solo.  If you visit during foliage season it's a perfect place to get up close to the rainbow of colors the leaves present each year (bring your camera or easel as there are some great photo ops here!).  Flander's Nature Center is a perfect destination for those who like to go for a ride and take in some fresh air. The road leading to Flander's will take you passed some great rural towns and farmland.

Also, about 2 miles up the road from Flanders is the Abbey at Regina.  The abbey is open to the public and very different from "everyday" life.  No cell phones or HBO here! The actress Dolores Hart left her stardom in Hollywood to join the order here. The Benedictine women have made a commitment to serve God through prayer and work.  But don't let sight of nuns in their habits in a quiet, humble setting fool you. The nuns are nearly 100% self sufficient and they are not afraid to turn on the chainsaws, hop on a tractor, and bang a few nails!  There's an agricultural aspect to the Abbey and at certain times of the year you can buy homemade foods, jams, jellies, baked goods, and arts and crafts.  Two roads up from the main entrance is a long winding road which will take you to a sparkling wooden church that serves as a chapel for the abbey and residents of Woodbury.  It's open to the public if you just want to visit and sit in one of the most peaceful settings anywhere.  The church's simple but thoughtful design, crisp clean woodwork and marble tiling, combines with the perfect use of sunlight to create what sure was the intention...a heavenly setting.  This is the exact opposite of the massive cathedrals you see in other places but no less spectacular.  This is master carpentry at its finest and worth a visit, if you're religious or not.  Visit their web site for more information. Abbey of Regina Laudis

Directions: From Interstate 84, take exit 16 (Southbury exit) and head north on Route 6.  Go through Southbury and the town of Woodbury. This is about 7 or 8 miles total.  As you leave the center of Woodbury, there will be a volunteer fire department building set back a bit from Rt. 6.  One tenth of a mile later is Flander's Road. It's a left-handed turn; the main road bears sharply to the right. Go up Flander's Road 4 miles and take a right where the sign indicates Flander's Nature Center.  There is a small dirt parking lot on the right and an Art Guild building on the left. Go pass these, as they are not the main center for hiking/outdoor activities.  Two-tenths of a mile later on the left is the Center and on the right is parking.  Use the Center to locate a hike of interest.  Their phone number is 203-263-3711.

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