Connecticut Butterfly Association

2018 Field Trips

All CBA field trips are free and open to the public. Wear comfortable hiking shoes, and bring water, insect repellant, and sunscreen. Additions and changes to the schedule will appear on the CTLEPS-L list and our Facebook page. (Instructions for joining CTLEPS-L are on our website,, though further updates will not appear until the site itself has been updated.)  Cancellations, particularly due to inclement weather, will be posted in these locations whenever possible.  If in doubt, you are encouraged to contact the trip leader. 

Saturday April 28, 10 AM
Hidden Valley Preserve of Steep Rock Reservation, Washington
Leaders: Peary and BK Stafford (860) 868-9203

This early season walk will concentrate on finding the Steep Rock specialty West Virginia White.  We might get lucky with a Pine Elfin or two and there should be lots of spring ephemeral wildflowers in bloom, including the Whites' host plant, Toothwort (Dentaria diphylla)It's an easy walk of about a mile to get to the site for the Whites so bring good walking shoes and water.   Directions: The Hidden Valley Preserve is located about midway between Washington Depot and Route 202 on Route 47 where the Shepaug River runs beneath the road.  Meet at the larger parking lot on the south side of the river.

Saturday May 5, 10 AM (rain date May 6)
West Rock Park, New Haven
Leader: Larry Gall 203-432-9892

Look for early butterflies such as Falcate Orangetip, Brown Elfin, and Juniper Hairstreak. Most of the walking is relatively easy up an old roadway but there may be some trail hiking, which is generally flat but rocky. If a rain date is necessary, it will be posted at 203-432-9892.    Directions: Take Rte 15 (Merritt Pkwy) to Interchange 59 (Rtes 63/69) exits). Go southeast on Rte 63 toward New Haven. Make left on Blake St., go quarter mile and make left on Farnam Ave. At end of Farnam, make left on Wintergreen. Pass cemetery on right, angle left on Wintergreen, come to stop sign and make right on Springside. Go to next stop sign; make left back onto Brookside (Wintergreen). Entrance to park will be on left, parking lot will be on right just before passing under Merritt Pkwy bridge.  If the lots are closed or full, park on Carbonella Drive, just beyond the Merritt Pkwy bridge.

Saturday May 19, 10 AM
Mansfield Hollow Dam, Windham
Leader: Lenny Brown 203-949-9024

The pine barrens and open areas north of Windham Airport are home to a number of species of butterflies not often seen in the state, including three species of elfins, Cherry Gall Azure, Sleepy Duskywing, and Cobweb Skipper.
Directions: Meet at the commuter lot at the southeast corner of Windham Airport on the north side of Route 6. Lot is approximately 0.7 miles west of the junction of Route 6 and Route 203. From there, we will walk along the top of the dike to the open areas north of the airport.

Saturday June 16, 10 AM
Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hartford
Leader: Roy Zartarian 860-836-7511

This trip is co-sponsored by the Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation. Cedar Hill Cemetery is an American rural cemetery lying in Hartford, Wethersfield and Newington. It encompasses 270 acres of landscaped woodlands, waterways and memorial grounds along with undeveloped grasslands. Approximately twenty species have been seen there, and with a half dozen Hackberry trees on the property, the walk may provide sightings of the Hackberry Emperor. Attire suited for walking through wet grass is recommended. Directions: From south of Hartford: Take the Berlin Turnpike (Rte 15) north through Wethersfield. In Wethersfield, take the left exit for Rte 314, Maple Ave. Continue straight on the Berlin Tpke approx. 1.5 mi. to Maple Ave. (do not turn onto Jordan Lane).Take slight left onto Fairfield Ave. Cemetery entrance is on the left. From north of Hartford: Take I-91 S to Airport Rd., Exit 27, toward Brainard Rd/Brainard Airport. Turn right onto Airport Rd. Airport Rd becomes Brown St. At Maple Ave. (CVS Pharmacy on left) turn left. Continue on Maple Ave. approx. 1.2 mi. and entrance to cemetery is on the right. From other locations, obtain GPS, Mapquest, or Google Maps info for 453 Fairfield Ave, Hartford, CT.

Saturday June 30, 10 AM – Noonish
Bent-of -the-River, Southbury
Leader: John Himmelman 860-663-3225

This trip is always one of our most popular! The variety of habitats always produces an amazing assortment of species! BOTR is included in the CT Butterfly Atlas as one of the best butterflying spots in the State. Not to be missed.
Directions: Take I-84 West, make right off exit 14 ramp. Straight thru light onto 172 N. Go 1 mile (S. Britain), and turn left onto East Flat Hill Rd. (between general store and church). Once you come to river on left, the drive for BOTR will be on your left (#185). Park in first lot on right. (84E, left off exit 14 ramp, under highway, straight onto 172N).

Saturday July 7, 10 AM
Walden Preserve, Salem
Leader. Rich Chyinski 860-859-1326

The milkweed and many other wildflowers will be in full bloom, providing easy viewing of a wide variety of butterflies, including many species of Hairstreaks, Swallowtails, including the Pipevine, and many Skippers. Milbert’s Tortoiseshells, Harvesters and Northern Pearly Eyes have been seen in the meadows and surrounding woodlands. Walden provides easy walking on mowed trails through wild flower meadows, which are in close proximity to the parking area.
Directions: Take I-395 to exit 77 (Rte 85) and go north or west toward Salem. Follow Rt.85 to Salem 4 Corners (Rte 82 and Rte 85). Follow Rte 85 north 1/2 mile, turn left onto Hagen Rd. Parking area 200 ft on the right.

Sunday July 8, 10 AM - noon
Lake Gaillard
Leader: Tom Kelly, 203-430-3180

This is a walk at the main reservoir for the Regional Water Authority.  It is a first time trip to a site not normally open to the public! This very scenic property includes fields and Christmas tree plantations.  Expect to see lots of Great Spangled Fritillaries, as well as many other species.  Directions:  Access is from North St. in North Branford.

Saturday July 21, 10 AM
John Flaherty Field Trial Area, East Windsor
Leader: Lenny Brown 203-949-9024

An overlooked hotspot for butterflies! Over 25 species are possible including the rare Horace’s Duskywing. An excellent trip! Wear sturdy walking shoes, bring water and sunscreen.
Directions: From I-91 take exit 44, go south on Rte 5 for 1.1 miles, make left on Tromley Rd. Go 0.7 miles to entrance on left.

Saturday July 28, 10 AM
Bauer Park, Madison
Maryann Nazarchyk 860-912-5663

Bauer Farm was established by the Bauer family 100 years ago. In 1990, the 64.5-acre property was donated to the town of Madison. It includes ponds, meadows, woodlands, and rock outcroppings, as well as a nature center offering educational programs, community gardens, and trails.
Directions: from I-95, exit 61, head north approximately .1 mile on Route 79. Take a left onto Hunter’s Trail. Proceed to the end (less than one mile) and turn right onto Copse Road. The center, with parking, is immediately on the left. Meet in the parking area.

Saturday August 4, 10 AM
Machimoodus State Park, East Haddam
Leaders: Diane Adams (860)508-8869, Maryann Nazarchyk 860-912-5663

Machimoodus is a 300 acre property overlooking the Salmon River and Salmon River Cove.  It contains ponds, woods, and fields mowed for the benefit of summer wildflowers, including significant milkweed stands.  Paths are maintained through the fields for those who prefer not to bushwhack.  Old farm roads and trails make most of the property readily accessible.  Hiking boots are encouraged—there are also several picnic tables placed around the park, in case you want to make a day of it, and kayak rental next door at Sunrise Park.  CBA has not had a field trip to this site in recent memory, so this is an exploratory trip. From Diane: Last year at this time, the Ironweed was full of butterflies—mostly Monarchs and skippers.  Also saw an owl! On a past summer visit, I found Common Ringlet, Black Swallowtail, Wood Nymph, Pearl Crescent, skippers, duskywings, and browns.
Directions: From the intersection of Routes 82 and 149 in East Haddam follow Route 149 north 3.8 miles to its intersection with Route 151. Turn left (west) on Route 151 and follow for 1.2 miles to the park entrance on the left.  (If using GPS, enter 128 Leesville Rd., Moodus, CT.)  Meet in parking lot.

Saturday, August 11, 10 AM
Stewart B. McKinney NWR, Westbrook
Leader: Tom Kelly, 203-430-3180

Our second trip to this salt meadow and its access trails, where we’ll continue the census of butterfly species. The area is designated an Important Bird Areas by the National Audubon Society.
Address for GPS directions: 733 Old Clinton Road, Westbrook, CT

Saturday August 18, 10 AM
Jared Eliot Preserve, a Guilford Land Trust Property and Chaffinch Island Park, Guilford
Leader: Lenny Brown 203-949-9024

These locations promise to produce a variety of species. We hope to find Hackberry Emperor, American Snout, and southern species that may be moving through the area at this time of year. Be prepared to walk through an uncut meadow (possibly wet) and protect yourself from mosquitoes. Wear long pants as there are a lot of brambles in the preserve.
Directions: From I-95 take exit 58 and travel south on Rte 77. Follow Rte 77 to Rte 146 and go west on Rte 146. After approx. 1-2 miles turn left on Mulberry Point Rd. Meet at the intersection of Mulberry Point Rd. and Mulberry Farms Rd.

Saturday August 25,  10 AM
Osbornedale State Park, Derby
Leader: Peter DeGennaro 203-598-8577

We will explore Osbornedale's meadows for late season swallowtails, hairstreaks, skippers, and other butterflies. With the Housatonic River bringing in butterflies from the coast, the park can become a great inland trap for vagrants. The hackberry trees in the park could produce American Snout and both emperors, and the estate's buddleias enter full bloom this time of year. Easy, mowed walking trails but bring water and sunscreen.
Directions: from Route 8 take exit 15, at end of ramp, turn left onto Main St. (Rte. 34). Continue West on Rte. 34 for about 1.5 miles. Then take a right onto Lakeview Terrace (there is a road sign for Kellogg Center/Osbornedale State Park at the corner).  Continue to stop sign at the end of the road; turn left at stop sign and immediately another left into parking lot. Meet in parking lot.

Saturday September 29, 10 AM-12 noon
Monarch Tagging at Hammonasset
Leader: Tom Kelly, 203-430-3180

Last year we had excellent results, so let’s hope for the same!  Menunkatuck Audubon and the Nature Center at Hammonasset will be assisting.  Bring a net if you have one, but some nets will be available to borrow.
Directions: I-95 to exit 62, south on connector and cross Route 1 to enter Hammonasset State Park.  Follow signs to Meigs Point Nature Center.  Meet at the Nature Center.