Our Top 10 Lists

of fun things to do in

The Last Green Valley

During these difficult times, many of our partners have closed or curtailed their operations. Please check directly with them before you head out for the most up-to-date information.

We encourage you to enjoy the outdoors and explore The Last Green Valley’s close-to-home trails, open spaces and agricultural businesses. Please be mindful of good social distancing practices and watch our social media feeds for recommended outdoor activities!

Fun things to do Views

#1 Astronomy/Night Sky Views & Scenic Overlooks/Views

The horizons of The Last Green Valley serve up a constellation of fun things to do and see whether the sun is coming up or going down.

  1. Look, listen and learn with TLGV Rangers Geoff and Kim of McLean Research Associates during their Dark Sky programs!
  2. UConn’s Horsebarn Hill offers stunning views, from forests and animals to bustling college life from atop the hill.
  3. Borrow a telescope! Thanks to the Aldrich Astronomical Society, they can be found at the Charlton Public Library, Pearle L. Crawford Memorial Library of Dudley, Oxford Free Public Library, Jacob Edwards Library of Southbridge and the Gladys E. Kelly Public Library of Webster.
  4. Walk Norwich using the Uncas Leap Trail to view the spectacular Yantic Falls.
  5. Dally in peace and tranquility on the Roseland Park gazebo right on the lake!
  6. Feeling adventurous? Hike to the top of Mt. Misery in Pachaug State Forest and soak it all in.
  7. Trek Sturbridge for scenic views including some of surrounding towns at Leadmine Mountain and Heins Farm!
  8. Wolf Rock Nature Preserve will have you howling with delight at the view.
  9. Follow the paved path atop the Mansfield Hollow dam with scenery all around like the Windham Airport!
  10. Relax and take a drive on over 50 miles of scenic roads designated across the Corridor including the Rt. 169 National Scenic Byway.

Fun things to do Camping

#2 Camping

Connect to nature in The Last Green Valley while pitching a tent or watching for bats by the campfire, just a few fun things to do while camping.

  1. Along the Natchaug River, Charlie Brown Campground is a picturesque campground full of country charm!
  2. For more adventurous types, Buffumville Lake offers primitive camping on a 3-acre island for up to one week.
  3. The Windham-Tolland 4H Camp offers a summer experience rich in fun, friendship, learning and adventure for kids on over 700 acres in Pomfret!
  4. Wooded campsites and rustic cabins beckon you to Hopeville Pond State Park.
  5. There’s plenty to do in Scotland…Connecticut, that is at Highland Campground!
  6. Over 50 sites and even a few yurts await you at Wells State Park in Sturbridge.
  7. Rent a yurt here too and more at Voluntown Peace Trust, and learn a little about sustainable living at the same time!
  8. Experience backpack camping in lean-to shelters at both Pachaug and Nipmuck State Forests.
  9. West Thompson Lake offers 24 sites only a short walk from miles of trails, 18 holes of disc golf, abundant opportunities for boating or fishing and more!
  10. Escape to Brialee Family Campground and make enough memories for a lifetime.

Fun things to do Farms

#3 Farms/Orchards/Nurseries

Gobble up fun as you mooooove around The Last Green Valley visiting our farms with such a variety or products, events and tons of fun things to do.

  1. Gobble up some local delights at Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm!
  2. Tour Woodstock Sustainable Farm and check out their partner Azuluna Foods which provides meals sourced right from the farm delivered right to your home.
  3. Experience the largest alpaca farm in New England at Morning Beckons Farm!
  4. Smell the lavender, walk the corn maze, scoop some ice cream and more at Fort Hill Farms.
  5. Hart’s Greenhouses specialize in annuals and perennials, hanging baskets and herbs at 4 locations across the Corridor!
  6. Pick your own apples before visiting the farm stand at Cook’s Farm Orchard.
  7. Sink your teeth into fresh and local produce including some of the best corn around at Blackmer Farm!
  8. Check out Ladd’s Garden Center and their Fairy Hop Gift Shop.
  9. Get blue fingers picking fresh berries at Lapsley Orchard off scenic Rt. 169!
  10. Hit multiple farms at once for all your goodies at one or all of the 4 locations of the Northeast CT Farmers Market.

Fun things to do Hiking

#4 Hiking/Walking/Strolling

For all levels of abilities, there are fun things to do and find along the trails in The Last Green Valley.

  1. Spring Outdoors will be back in 2021!
  2. Any of the 50 miles the Air Line Trail offers is worth walking, or even biking and horseback riding on.
  3. Bird watchers flock to Wyndham Land Trust’s Duck Marsh Preserve!
  4. Get to Goodwin State Forest and experience their interesting programs amidst miles of trails with connections to Natchaug State Forest and the Air Line Trail.
  5. Over 20 miles of trail and roads call you to Brimfield State Forest, including the popular Summit Trail to the top of Mt. Waddaquaduck!
  6. Be in 3 states at once hiking to the Tri-State Marker and connect to the Air Line Trail south into CT or the Midstate Trail north into MA for scores of more miles.
  7. Strollers roll easily on paved trails rolling along the rolling French River in Thompson or the Quinebaug River in Killingly and Putnam!
  8. Variety of trails and sites, and maybe even a salamander, to find in Opacum Land Trust’s Opacum Woods plus other properties across south-central MA.
  9. Stroll trails of all kinds at Mohegan Park while viewing the beautiful Norwich Rose Garden and its hundreds of rose varieties!
  10. Two Sisters Tract is a hidden treasure in Chaplin right along the Air Line Trail, and don’t forget to check out dozens of other Joshua’s Trust properties.

Fun things to do Museums

#5 Museums/Historic Sites

History is our story in The Last Green Valley and the revolutionary tales, places & events offer plenty of fun things to do as we step back in time.

  1. See how Windham became known as the “Thread City” for their role in supplying textiles to the region and country at the Mill Museum!
  2. Revolutionary history awaits at Lebanon’s historic Town Green, topping off your visit to the Lebanon Historical Society Museum and the Trumbull House & Wadsworth Stables.
  3. Get your NPS passport stamped and learn about the Bowen family’s “Pink House” at Roseland Cottage, a National Historic Landmark!
  4. Visit where the founder of the American Red Cross spent her early days at the Clara Barton Birthplace in Oxford and stay to walk the remains of the Huguenot Fort Site and visit the Huguenot Steamer Fire Museum too while in town.
  5. See all the hard work done by the Preston Historical Society to renovate the Long Society Meeting House, one of only a few of its kind left in New England!
  6. Dig up your family roots with the help of Killingly Historical & Genealogical Society and the Finnish-American Heritage Society.
  7. The Huntington Homestead offers a look at the home of who many consider the first president of the USA, and they love cooking in the hearth for guests!
  8. Walk in the footsteps of Revolutionary War traitor Benedict Arnold on Norwich Historical Society’s Heritage Trails.
  9. Both CT’s state hero Nathan Hale and state heroine Prudence Crandall hail from The Last Green Valley, so visit their homesteads and learn about their tales!
  10. Stop by the Black Tavern in Dudley for some fascinating local history or even rent it out for private events to experience life in 19th century Massachusetts.

Fun things to do Nonprofits

#6 Non-profits

The Last Green Valley is thankful to have strong non-profit partners offering fun things to do as they do good work.

  1. Support the Arc of Eastern CT by shopping at their Emporium or bringing refundables to their Redemption Center!
  2. Epitomizing community education, Brimfield’s Hitchcock Free Academy offers interesting and inspiring programs of all kinds.
  3. The CT Audubon Society at Pomfret and Hampton’s Trail Wood bring people of all ages closer to nature!
  4. Love water? Paddle over and join up with the Willimantic Whitewater Partnership and Columbia Canoe Club at Mansfield Hollow.
  5. Help take care of rescued animals at Horizon Wings Raptor Rehab & Education, Hay Burr Inn Equine Rescue and Our Companions Animal Rescue!
  6. Clean up the streets of Norwich with Reliance Health and their partners.
  7. Our Chambers of Commerce are full of members working hard for our region. Join and participate with the Chambers of Central Mass South, Eastern CT, Greater Norwich Area, Northeastern CT, Webster-Dudley-Oxford and the Windham Region!
  8. Train to Tackle the Trail and support local students with the QVCC Foundation.
  9. Get friendly in stewarding our public lands with the Friends of Goodwin Forest, Friends of Mansfield Hollow and Friends of Pachaug Forest!
  10. Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting is alive and well, providing youth abundant recreational and leadership opportunities in The Last Green Valley.

Fun things to do Paddling

#7 Paddling

Rowing your boat and paddling along the rivers in The Last Green Valley, not only fun things to do, but offer a scenic and different point of view.

  1. Peaceful paddles await you on Morse Pond at the Opacum Land Trust’s Claire Birtz Sanctuary!
  2. Take a journey along the Norwich Harbor Water Trail.
  3. Rent first to see what kayak suits you best out on Webster Lake with Lakeview Marine!
  4. Seclusion and wildlife is all yours on the French River at Leovich Landing.
  5. The Quinebaug River National Recreation Water Trail calls you to 45 miles of paddling between two states from Holland to Canterbury!
  6. Paddle in the Corridor’s largest state forest at Pachaug’s Beachdale Pond.
  7. The Willimantic River National Recreation Water Trail winds for 22 miles from Stafford Springs ending in Willimantic, with only one short portage.
  8. Choose Bigelow Hollow State Park for quiet and scenic paddling on Bigelow or Mashapaug Ponds, or walk into isolated Breakneck Pond to paddle in both states!
  9. The Shetucket River National Recreation Water Trail has lots of sections to explore in the 20 miles from Windham to Norwich.
  10. Explore the 125-acre Red Cedar Lake at Mooween State Park in Lebanon!

Fun things to do Shopping

#8 Retail-Arts/Antiques/Uniques

Finding a treasure or the perfect gift, for yourself of someone else, such fun things to do as you shop local in The Last Green Valley.

  1. Enter the gate – the Garden Gate Florist shop in Pomfret!
  2. Visit the galleries at the Norwich Arts Center and stay for the theatrical productions upstairs at the Donald Oat Theater.
  3. Spruce up your yard with help from Select Seeds and their high quality flower seeds and plants.
  4. Shop at The Shoe Smith for a personalized experience getting exactly the comfort and style you need.
  5. Sip a cup o’ joe, pull up a chair, sit back and relax with a good book at Booklover’s Gourmet and Pourings & Passages!
  6. ARTicles Gallery features a collection of local artistry and handmade gifts perfect for everyone.
  7. Be stunned by the vast selection at Enchanted Jewelry!
  8. Want to shop, eat and play in Sturbridge? Their Tourist Association can connect you to unique options for hotels, shops, restaurants and entertainment.
  9. Check out the Trink-et Shoppe for all your uniform, sportswear, bridal, prom needs and more!
  10. Fresh and local shopping is a yummy experience at the Willimantic Food Co-op.

Fun things to do Tastes & Sips

#9 Tastes/Sips

Modern day explorers in The Last Green Valley need to re-energize and dining out is another of the fun things to do whether you are starting or ending the day – or anytime in between.

  1. Sip tasty spirits with ingredients right from their land at Watercure Farm Distillery and Westford Hill Distillers!
  2. Hop on down to Frog Rock Rest Stop for a fun time eating out in the fresh air.
  3. The Inn at Woodstock Hill offers unhurried dining and conversation in a lovely historical setting!
  4. Experience true Yankee hospitality at the Publick House Historic Inn. Stop by the Bake Shop for a quick treat or take a seat to dine in the Tavern.
  5. Check out Creamery Brook Bison to find them at a fair or festival near you!
  6. Vines, wines and pleasant times are cultivated at Preston Ridge Vineyard, Sharpe Hill Vineyard and Taylor Brooke Winery.
  7. Sip and taste locally in Willimantic Brewing’s living landmark brew pub!
  8. Tucked away in Hampton, Bright Acres Farm Sugarhouse can fulfill all your maple sugar needs.
  9. Stop by George’s Galley for classic American fare while visiting Danielson!
  10. Fine dining from Green Valley Hospitality who operate four unique restaurants with something for everyone – 85 Main in Putnam, Vanilla Bean Café in Pomfret, Dog Lane Cafe in Storrs and the Fenton River Grill in Mansfield.

Fun things to do Volunteer

#10 Volunteer Opportunities

Raise your hand in The Last Green Valley and chip in where you can. Giving back is meaningful, makes a difference and offers more fun things to do while doing good.

  1. TLGV Rangers are trained volunteers who attend scores of local events each year conducting outreach on behalf of the Corridor – you can become one too!
  2. Clean up your town with family and friends with a little help from TLGV.
  3. Water Quality Monitoring – make a difference and ensure a healthy watershed!
  4. Maintain some trails with a local land trust.
  5. Become a museum docent!
  6. Adopt a water landing to watch over on one of the National Recreation Water Trails.
  7. Assist a local non-profit, there are many different missions to choose from!
  8. Serve on a town committee in one of our 35 communities like an agriculture, conservation or economic development committee.
  9. Join your town’s historical society and pitch in!
  10. Plan to offer and lead a Walktober event.