Save the date: Saturday, Sept. 22. Activities for Discover Outdoor Connecticut Day, otherwise known as Hunting & Fishing Appreciation Day, will be held this year at the Franklin Wildlife Management Area.
Located in the town of North Franklin, just off route 32, this annual event showcases the outdoor experience for young and old alike. It is a wonderful opportunity for people to learn about our rich outdoor heritage.
It is a free event sponsored by the State of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), with representatives from numerous agencies such as Inland & Marine Fisheries, Wildlife & Forestry and the No Child Left Inside program, along with other private sponsors like LL Bean, Home Depot and just too many others to mention.
Events just for kids include wildlife crafts, face painting and tattoos, along with a scavenger hunt. Volunteers will also be on hand to help kids build their own blue bird nest box.
You can try your hand at archery, as instructors will be on hand to let you shoot a bow and arrow. You can also learn how to tie a fly, cast a fly rod or spinning rod.
You can learn about wild edibles from Ethan Choiniere of Sturbridge Village. You can also have fun learning other outdoor skills.
A portable saw mill will be on hand to demonstrate how harvested logs are cut into lumber. There will be many activities to sample, along with many wildlife exhibits such as birds of prey and the list goes on.
This event was held at the Sessions Woods Wildlife area in Burlington for many years and recently has moved around the state a bit. Last year it was held at the Cabela’s store property in East Hartford. No matter the location, it is a great event and a fun day for the whole family.
From the Bristol and New Britain area, the drive to North Franklin might be about an hour or so, depending on traffic. The most direct route is via I-84 east to route 2 east to exit 27. Then turn onto route 32 north for about 3½ miles to Plains Road, turn right onto Plains Road and you’ll see the sign for the wildlife area’s driveway.
The event will be held rain or shine, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. There is free parking on site and free admission. Stay for a few hours, or pack a lunch and make a day of it.
Coincidentally, this Saturday is also the official start of the autumn season. Soon enough the leaves will be turning to their rich colors. We’ll wake up some morning to find the first frost has arrived.
I, for one, truly love this time of year. I think it’s my most favorite time.
As I grow older, I feel that I am fast approaching the autumn of my own life. I’ve learned to greatly value my time spent in the outdoor world, be it a simple hour or so hike to watch the birds or a day of fishing or time spent in the deer woods. It’s been a wonderful season.