A 2020 Bucket List of Places to Visit in The Last Green Valley

A 2020 Bucket List of Places to Visit in The Last Green Valley

With the New Year approaching it’s goodbye 2019 and hello 2020. What will the New Year bring for you and your family here in The Last Green Valley? As I contemplate the year ahead, I like to think about the places I have not visited in a while, or perhaps have always wanted to get to but just didn’t find the time. With that in mind I asked my five colleagues at TLGV for suggestions of places or activities they would put on their 2020 Bucket List. Together we came up with an interesting list for you to consider and each is right here close to home in The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor.

TLGV Office Coordinator LyAnn Graff lives in Dayville, has lived in the region all her life and knows it better than any of the staff on the team. She loves to paddle our rivers, lakes and ponds, and if you’ve been on a TLGV-organized paddle, you have probably met her. It is no surprise that in 2020 she wants to paddle (hike and camp too) at the Green Falls area of Pachaug State Forest. She also wants to go to Mohegan Park in Norwich and commented to me that she hasn’t visited the park since her kids were young. Below is a web-link for information about the Green Falls area of Pachaug State Forest and Mohegan Park.



TLGV Finance Administrator Sharon Wakely has also lived in the region for many years and is a resident of Hampton. More than 40 years ago she and her husband Paul used to hike and picnic at Old Furnace State Park in Killingly and would like to return in 2020. Sharon has not hiked to the Tri-State Marker in East Thompson and hopes to do that as well. Below is a web-link for Old Furnace State Park and the map of the Air Line Trail in Thompson. The Tri-State Marker is located in the upper right-hand corner of the map.



TLGV Community & Donor Relations Manager Kyle Gregoire lives in Salem and grew up in Connecticut. He is an outdoor enthusiast and hopes to bike the length of the East Coast Greenway in The Last Green Valley, which is about 56 miles. He is also interested in visiting the Clara Barton Birthplace Museum in North Oxford to learn more about her story. She was the founder of the American Red Cross and one of the more interesting and notable people to have come from The Last Green Valley. Information on the East Coast Greenway and the Connecticut route can be found at the following web links as well as the website for the Clara Barton Birthplace Museum.




Kyle’s back up choice would be to take a walk around the Lebanon Green. While he has driven by plenty of times, he hasn’t taken the time to slow down, walk around the Green, soak it all in, and imagine the Revolutionary War era goings-on at that location such as the French encampment. Below are web links to the Lebanon Historical Society located on the Lebanon Green and links related to the Lebanon Green from the Town of Lebanon’s website and The Last Green Valley.




TLGV Assistant Director Fran Kefalas resides in Canterbury and has lived in the region for many years. She enjoys hiking our trails and is especially interested in two locations she hasn’t visited yet, but hopes to in 2020. The Wyndham Land Trust’s Bull Hill Project has been ongoing for a few years now and is approaching 1,000 acres of conserved land. This is a significant undertaking and one of the more important conservation projects in The Last Green Valley. Fran also wants to visit the Leadmine Mountain trails in Sturbridge, also a very important conservation project dating back more than a decade in Sturbridge. Below are web links to both the Bull Hill project in Thompson and Woodstock, and the Leadmine Mountain trails in Sturbridge.



TLGV Executive Director Lois Bruinooge enjoys hiking and paddling The Last Green Valley. She has yet to hike at Old Furnace State Park and the loop hike around Furnace Pond and is especially interested in the view from the top of Half Hill and Ross Cliffs. The east view from the top is exceptional, especially during fall foliage season or at sunrise. Below is a link to the trail map for Old Furnace State Park.


As I consider places I would like to visit in 2020, I also include Mohegan Park in Norwich. Being a bit of an “adrenalin junky,” the thrill of aerial zip lining at Storrs Adventure Park is also on my bucket list. I hope to get to both locations this year. I also want to bike the entire length of the Air Line Trail in The Last Green Valley. I have already done sections in Thompson and Pomfret, look forward to completion of the Putnam section, and hope to go all the way into Lebanon and beyond. Here is a link to the Storrs Outdoors website as well as the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Air Line State Park web link.



We live in a beautiful place called The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor. The New Year is fast approaching and each season provides countless opportunities to get out and enjoy the rich cultural and natural resources at our doorstep. I hope you’ll join me, my colleagues at TLGV and many others as we enjoy, care for and pass it on.

Bill Reid is the Chief Ranger of The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor and has lived in the region for more than 35 years. He can be reached at bill@tlgv.org







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