White Memorial Conservation Center – Litchfield Connecticut

White Memorial Conservation Center – 80 Whitehall Road – Litchfield, CT  06759

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We started our day at the Nature Museum which is located in what was once the summer home of Alain and May White. Between 1908 and 1912, the brother and sister purchased many acres around their family’s property on Bantam Lake.  The Nature Museum has wall to wall exhibits highlighting and interpreting the natural history of the White Memorial property.

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Entering the Museum gift shop, we were greeted by Marlow. She was incredibly welcoming and knowledgeable of the property. Marlow was super helpful, pointing out displays to look for in the museum and suggesting several trails to start our exploration on.

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There are so many interactive displays throughout the museum! We really enjoyed our time spent there!  The Museum hours are Monday – Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sunday 12 noon to 5pm.  The museum fee is $6.00 per adult, $3.00 for children 6-12, and free for children under 6. We recommend taking the time to go through the museum!

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Once we left the Museum, we turned right and followed the gravel road toward The Little Pond Boardwalk Trail. We followed the directions on the map given at the Museum. You can also purchase a map of the entire Conservation Center. The trails are well marked with information kiosks and easily seen trail blazes.  The total round trip hiking distance from the Museum is approximately 3.1 miles.

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Little Pond Trail is an elevated 1.2 mile walkway around Little Pond.  The boardwalk crosses the Bantam River in two locations and is open year round.

The trail and boardwalk are limited to foot travel only.  Dogs are allowed and must be kept leashed.

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On the way back to the Museum, we detoured onto part of the Interpretive Nature Trail and the Trail of Senses.

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Our final trail was the Lake Trail to the Ice House Ruins Trail

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The Conveyor was an elaborate conveyor system operated by the Berkshire Ice Company. The conveyor system was built on a framework on the concrete supports and used to convey the ice from Bantam Lake to the Ice House.

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View of Bantam Lake from the Observation Deck.

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The Canal brought water to the Ice House from Bantam Lake

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The Ice House Ruins Trail is a self-guided interpretive trail. You can obtain a guide at the Museum front desk, print one from the White Memorial Website , or use the QR codes with your smartphone. It is a wonderful trip back in time to the Berkshire Ice Company commercial ice harvesting operation.

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And a few nature images from our hike back to the parking area.

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The White Memorial Foundation and Conservation Center has 4,000 acres of forest, fields, and wetlands.  There are 40 miles of trails, The Nature Museum, Ponds and the Bantam River, Campgrounds, a Marina, and a Carriage House that can be rented for a party, event, or wedding.

We enjoyed exploring the Museum and Trails. The Museum is fun and informative, the staff is friendly and welcoming, and the trails are well maintained and the blazes are easy to find. We look forward to returning and exploring a few other trails. This is a fantastic family destination!

 

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Martha Rice Written by:

Martha loves road trips, photographing and exploring the greater New England area, with an eye for Macros.

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