This holiday weekend marks the half-way point of The Last Green Valley’s Walktober. So far, the weather has been mostly glorious and allowed our beautiful Heritage Corridor to shine. With three more weeks to go, however, Walktober really begins to heat up as the temperatures cool down and the foliage begins to pop. If you have not had a chance to join us and our more than 120 partners to explore all the wonders of the National Heritage Corridor, don’t worry; there is still so much to do, see and experience! I have my eye on a few Walktobers I would like to mention here.
Today from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. you can enjoy the Highland Games of Scotland at the Waldo Homestead, 96 Waldo Rd., Scotland. You can enjoy food, vendors and many traditional Scottish events such as the highland games, dancing, pipe bands and more. There is an entrance fee and special parking instructions that you will find at https://scotlandgames.org or visit the Facebook page.
More family-friendly fun happening this weekend includes harvest festivals at Lapsley Orchard and Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm. The Lapsley Orchard Fall Harvest Festival continues today and Monday at Lapsley Orchard in Pomfret and includes apple picking, fresh pressed cider, food, hayrides, live music and more. Lapsley Orchard is located at 403 Orchard Hill Rd., Pomfret. And, of course, the farm store will be open.
The Ekonk Hill Harvest Festival has become a wonderful Walktober tradition. There are games, face painting, barnyard animals, pumpkin painting and more, but best of all is the giant corn maze! The festival and corn maze are from 11 a.m. to dusk. 227 Ekonk Hill, Moosup. Some Ekonk Hill ice cream is always a nice end, or middle, to a beautiful autumn day.
Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilitation and Education Center celebrates its 20th anniversary with an open house and aviary tours Oct. 16. There will be a raffle, nature-related kids crafts, music, demonstrations and more. There is an entrance fee that goes towards their rehabilitation work for raptors. The event is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is located at 9 Sand Hill Rd., Ashford. For information visit https://www.horizonwings.org/pdfs/AnniversaryFlyer.pdf
For the adults, you can celebrate the 2nd anniversary of Watercure Farm Distillery each weekend during October from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Join the Watercure team for discussion and live demonstrations of craft distilling of CT grown products. Good food and spirits are available. Family and pet friendly. Watercure is located at 426 Mashamoquet Road, Pomfret Center. Call 860-315-5566 for more information.
One of the most popular events in the region is the Roseland Cottage Fine Arts and Crafts Festival at Roseland Cottage in Woodstock. This event is one of the leading juried fine art and craft shows in New England, featuring 175 artisans and their wares. Live music, food, and tours of Roseland Cottage are included. Roseland Cottage is located at 556 Route 169 in Woodstock.
This year TLGV is presenting Tastes of the Valley: THIRSTdays Harvest Tours on Thursdays during Walktober with three more to be held, Oct. 14 at Preston Ridge Vineyard, Oct. 21 at Brimfield Vineyards and Oct. 28 at Black Pond Brews. Sample locally crafted sips while enjoying specially created tastes of fresh, farm-to-table foods. For tickets and information visit https://thelastgreenvalley.org/ or call 860-774-3300.
For many, October means Halloween, and there are plenty of haunting opportunities and events to celebrate during Walktober.
Today and repeating Oct. 23 and 29, Hay Burr Inn hosts its Haunted Trail from 6 – 9 p.m. Come dressed in your costume, meet the horses at the Hay Burr Inn Equine Rescue Center, walk the Haunted Trail and get a little spooked. For information go to their website at: https://www.hayburrinn.org/new-events/2021/1/23/haunted-trail-at-hay-burr-inn
The Mill Museum in Willimantic always creates an exceptional “spooky” event for Walktober and this year you can enjoy Nightmare on Main – Phobia: Faces of Fear, tonight and repeating Oct. 15, 16, 23 and 24. What is your worst nightmare? Tours of daring souls leave every few minutes to learn about acrophobia, astraphobia and much more. The event is from 7- 9:30 p.m. and registration is required. Call 860-456-2178 or visit https://millmuseum.org/ for ticket information.
The Brooklyn Fairgrounds is home to Feargrounds – with two haunted houses filled with surprises to make you scream! The event is Oct. 15 and 16 from 5 – 9 p.m. There will also be outdoor vendors including food. Brooklyn Fairgrounds is located at 15 Fairgrounds Rd. Brooklyn.
Norwich Historical Society is hosting Antient Ghosts of Norwich Oct. 29. As dusk approaches, stroll through one of Norwich’s oldest graveyards and hear local ghostly legends and folklore. There are three tours starting at 6:40 p.m., 7:05 p.m. and 7:25 p.m. This sells out quickly so register in advance at https://www.norwichhistoricalsociety.org/ or call 860-886-1776.
These are a small sampling of the Walktober adventures still to come. For the full schedule visit thelastgreenvalley.org/walktober-2/
We look forward to seeing you throughout The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor for three more weeks of Walktober. I hope you’ll join us, and together let us care for, enjoy and pass on this special place we call home.
Bill Reid is the Chief Ranger of The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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