2024 Winter Hiking Challenge


We challenge you to visit 7 New Canaan Land Trust preserves, plus Bristow Bird Sanctuary in Mead Park, and complete 8 hikes this winter!

Our preserves have much to offer year-round. Enjoy the fresh air, spot local wildlife, get your steps in, and ring in the New Year with 8 fantastic hikes.


  1. Visit and walk the trails at all or some of the preserves listed below 
  2. Take a photo of yourself (and your hiking buddy) at the designated Selfie Spot!
  3. When you have completed all the hikes or as many as you wish to complete, submit your information to the form on the right. Only submit this form once you have completed the challenge up to your preferred level of participation.

We encourage you to post your pictures on social media and to use the following hashtag #NCLTwinterhike2024. Tag us @nc_land_trust!

All entries are due by 5 pm on February 29, 2024


ALL participants are eligible for the following prizes. You DO NOT need to be a member to be eligible for the following:

  • Visit 4 properties and receive a New Canaan Land Trust swag
  • Visit all 8 properties and receive swag, certificate of completion, AND be entered into a raffle to win a $250 gift card to Outdoor Sports Center in Wilton!


Walk the trails at the following New Canaan Land Trust preserves, and snap a photo at the designated photo location.

1. Browne (info)
Photo location – Glacial Erratic Boulder
The boulder is located near north side of preserve. Walk the trail in a counter-clockwise direction for about a quarter-mile: you can’t miss the giant bolder along the trail.

2. Watson-Symington (info)
Photo location – Stone Labyrinth
The labyrinth is located just off the trail, between intersections D and E. Look to the east along this trail, and you’ll see stones arranged in the shape of a traditional seven-circuit labyrinth.

3. Livingston-Higley  (Info)
Photo location – Kestrel Nesting Box
Simply follow the trail from Apple Tree Lane until it opens to the preserve’s iconic meadow. The nesting box is mounted to a 15′ tall wooden post near the stone wall traversing the meadow.

4. Still Pond  (info)
Photo location – Council Ring Seating Area
From the Silvermine-Fowler entrance (763 Silvermine Road), follow the trail through the woods until you reach the newly-planted pollinator meadow. The council ring seating area is adjacent to the meadow, overlooking Still Pond.

5. Colhoun (info)
Photo Location – Wooden bench, built by Eagle Scout Will Besgen
Follow the main trail to the north, crossing raised walkways along the way. The bench is located at a trail intersection amongst towering beech trees, near the northern side of the preserve.

6. Firefly Sanctuary (info)
Photo location – Seating area
Follow the trail from Sleepy Hollow Road through the woods, over a few bridges, and up to an open meadow. The seating area is located just inside of a split-rail fence, overlooking the meadow.

7. GreenLink between Irwin Park and Nature Center (info)
Photo location – Bridge with antlers and wood railings

From Irwin Park: use the cross walk at the intersection of Weed and Wahackme to head north on Weed Street. Follow the trail as it cuts into the woods, and you’ll see the iconic bridge.

From the Nature Center: head towards “dinosaur swamp”, crossing a different bridge along the way. Continue heading west towards Weed Street, over a few raised walkways, until you reach the bridge with antlers.

8. Bristow Bird Sanctuary at Mead Park (info)
Photo location – Cam Hutchins Memorial Garden

From Old Stamford Road: Follow the trail as it enters the park. The garden is on the right across from the small pond.

From Mead Park: Walk on the trail past the baseball diamonds and into the Sanctuary. Walk straight over the bridge, past the pavilion, and the garden is on the left across from the small pond.


Rules at our Preserves:
Please remember that it is all of our responsibilities to protect these special places. Help us keep our preserves open to the public by following the guidelines on this page: https://newcanaanlandtrust.org/all-properties/. Specifically, please adhere to the following rules:

  • Preserves are open from dawn until dusk.
  • Leave what you find so that others may enjoy it (…except litter).
  • Be considerate to other visitors and our neighbors.
  • Leash your dog(s) at all time. Pick up any solid waste and bring it home with you.


  • Participants are encouraged to wear sturdy shoes. While we try to keep our trails in good shape, heavy rain will create some muddy patches, and there are occasional tripping hazards such as roots and rocks.
  • If you come across any hazards on the trails, please let us know so we can address them.
  • Be sure to check out the kiosks at each trailhead for additional information about the preserve.
  • Help spread the word about this challenge by inviting your friends and family to participate.