June 2020 E-News

-Thank you for your patience as we begin to reopen under state and federal guidelines. Stay tuned to our website (www.steeprockassoc.org) as we begin to roll out events, trainings, and programs.
– We are following CT DEEP guidance for reopening the camping season. Stay tuned!
– Peak hours at our preserves are weekends (11:00 am – 4:00 pm). If lots are at capacity, please visit during non-peak hours, park at alternate locations, or go to another preserve (see our website map).
– For the safety of all preserve visitors, please bring a mask and wear if you cannot maintain a 6-foot social distance.
– For the safety of visitors, pets, and the plants and animals that call our Preserves home, please leash your pets, bag their waste, and remove from the Preserves when you leave.
-Equestrian parking at Hidden Valley Preserve is not available until further notice. The Steep Rock Riding Ring remains open.
– For your safety and out of respect for our neighbors, please do not park along busy roads or on lawns.
Enjoy your visit and have fun!

Steep Rock Update: June 2020



All Are Welcome Here

We join in celebrating not only the diversity of life in our preserves
and on our planet
but also the diversity of the human identity-
regardless race, religion, ethnicity,
gender identification, age, education, class, politics, or worldview.
Together we shape and strengthen the quality of life in our communities.

We have work to do

We stand with you

All Are Welcome Here

Brian Hagenbuch, Ph.D., Executive Director

Connecticut Trails Day


Photo: Eva Jones 
According to Connecticut Forest and Park Association (CFPA), “This year’s Trails Day celebration will be every day!”

You can enjoy a do-it-yourself Steep RockTrails Day experience by accessing our Preserve maps here, or…

Why not register for our Hiker’s Challenge

Walk all 40+/- miles of trails in Steep Rock Association’s three preserves (Steep RockHidden Valley and Macricostas) and become a member of the Steep Rock Association Hiking Club. To particiapate please fill out the Hiker’s Challenge form here.

Feel like a climb? Choose our 3 Peaks Challenge.

To participate, ascend all three peaks: Hidden Valley’s Pinnacle, Macricostas’ Waramaug’s Rock, and the Steep Rock Summit. You can learn more and register here.

Trail maps are available for purchase and can be mailed directly to you. Please contact us: info@steeprockassoc.org.

Celebrate, challenge yourself, have fun, and get outdoors this season at Steep Rock Association’s Preserves. 

Steep Rock Trivia Challenge


Photo: Rory Larson
Our Signs of Washington’s Wildlife quiz was a big hit. We received over 90 submissions with an average score of 60%. Give it a shot if you haven’t already! SRA will be rolling out its second trivia challenge on June 17th to test your knowledge on the incredible biodiversity supported by our preserves. 

Monthly Trail Work Party


Photo: Steep Rock Association

Monthly Trail Work Party
Saturday, June 20, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Steep Rock Preserve Main Parking Area
(2 Tunnel Rd, Washington, CT)

We are kicking off our 2020 monthly trail work party at Steep Rock Preserve this year. Monthly trail work parties tackle a range of projects, from trail construction to invasive plant management. This month, volunteers will assist in the management and control of invasive Japanese Barberry near the Steep Rock Preserve main parking area. To start things off, SRA staff will lead a brief invasive plant walk, help you identify common invasive species in the area, and provide you with tips for how to control them in your own backyards. For more information and to register please visit our Events and Programs page. Please note that registration is required and limited to 10 participants. Participants must abide by CDC guidelines (bring a mask, gloves, socially distance, etc.)                                                                                             

Turtle Time


Photo: Rory Larson

Snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentine) are busy digging nests in dry, sandy floodplain soils in the Shepaug River Valley. Some of our parking areas and trails bypass these sought out nesting habitats. Female turtles are also on the move and may be seen crossing roads; drive carefully. Please leash your pets to prevent negative encounters and report nesting observations to SRA.

Interested in learning more? Check out our Notes from the Field blog entry on this very subject.

A Message from Judea Garden


Photo: Denise Arturi
Despite our June 1st frost, we think summer has finally arrived at Judea Garden and so we continue to get our hot weather plants into the ground. In the meantime, harvest and distribution of spring crops has begun.
If you are interested in helping in Judea Garden or with distribution, please contact Denise Arturi.
We’re happy to announce that Weed and Wine will return on Wednesday, June 24 with the State’s second phase of reopening.  Stay tune for more information.
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