Take a hike

Take a hike

Reconnect with nature at Land Trust Days events

Close your eyes for a moment and think of a place where you can achieve total relaxation.

If Rupert Friday's assumptions are correct, you probably thought about somewhere outdoors.

"I think it's part of the DNA of being human," said Friday, director of the Rhode Island Land Trust Council. "I think it connects to the core of people."

So he is eager for Rhode Islanders to participate in Land Trust Days, running through the end of September.

Full moon walks, a scavenger hunt and bird-watching hikes are among the free activities accessible to families throughout the state.

In its second year, the Land Trust Days were founded to promote programs offered by individual volunteer Land Trust groups, as well as protected outdoor areas open to all.

The goal is to get more people going outside, Friday said, to enjoy anything from the wilderness to a wooded area in the neighborhood.

Guided trails are offered to make trails more familiar to participants, who can go back later to check them out on their own.

"It's a little bit daunting going by yourself for the first time," Friday admitted, so hopefully the Land Trust Days events take away any apprehension. "That's our vision for Land Trust Days. Just getting out and relaxing, feeling great about yourself and feeling great about the world."

A complete schedule of upcoming events follows. Anyone who attends four or more events can enter the Land Trust Days Challenge for a chance to win prizes through a drawing.

Visit www.rilandtrusts.org for specific information about each event.

Saturday, Sept. 21

* 7 a.m. - A nature walk to witness the migrating monarch butterfly population and the paths at the P.T. Marvell Preserve, South Shore Road in Little Compton.

* 8 a.m. - A Nature Walk at Mount Hope Farm, 250 Metacom Ave. in Bristol, with expert birdwatcher Ray Payson to find waterfowl, flycatchers, swallows, wrens and other birds that inhabit the farm.

* 9 a.m. - A guided walk of the Garrison House Acres, 100 Middlebridge Road in South Kingstown, on a mile-long trail through woodlands, marshes and open fields along the Narrow River.

* 9 a.m. - A workshop and bird walk featuring both children's and adult-level bird workshops and a bird hike with Cumberland historian David Balfour. It will take place opposite 185 Scott Road in Cumberland.

* 9:30 a.m. - A guided hike of the Connors Farm and Jim Russel properties, Connors Farm Road in Smithfield. See secondary forests, one of the area's most rugged ledges and a newly opened trail.

* 10 a.m. - A Country Day at Pardon Gray, 3200 Main Road in Tiverton. Experience an old fashioned country fair with tractor pulls, kids' games and pony rides.

* 10 a.m. - A treasure hunt at the Crawley Preserve, 204 Glen Rock Road in South Kingston, with a Johnny Cake meal prize for successful hunters. Hike the trails and find five items to win.

* 10:30 a.m. - A guided farm tour of Briggs-Boesch Farm, 830 South Road in East Greenwich, to see animals and trails. Lunch provided by Pat's Pastured.

* 2 p.m. - A guided hike to learn about Lichens and what they tell us about their surroundings, led by Elizabeth Kneiper. Located on Post Road in South Kingstown.

* 9 p.m. A full moon walk up Steer Hill, on Putnam Pike in Glocester, for the first day of autumn and to view the full moon.

Sunday, Sept. 22

* 1 p.m. - A guided walk at Canonchet Farm, on Anne Hoxsie Lane in Narragansett, with naturalist Tom Fortier to explore the seasonal changes of the salt and freshwater marshes and Pettaquamscutt Cove.

* 2 p.m. - A guided walk at Watson Farm, 455 North Road in Jamestown, will feature a two-mile tour of the seaside working farm and its land, people and natural resources.

Sunday, Sept. 29

* Noon - West Greenwich Land Trust's 6th annual "Celebrate West Greenwich" festival, 280 Victory Highway in West Greenwich, features a farmers market, vendors, games and entertainment.

* 2 p.m. - Celebrate the beginning of fall with a guided walk along new trails of the Wahaneeta Preserve, on Moorehouse Road in Westerly, as well as a casual celebration with wine and live music.

* 6:30 p.m. - Go on the prowl for owls as the sun sets at the Grills Preserve, at the cul de sac of Bowling Lane in Westerly.