The Wallace Barnes Accessible Nature Trail

Phase Two has begun and we need YOUR help!

The completion of Phase Two is expected to cost $200,000. If you or a loved one has benefited from the BNC trails, educational programs, or special events, please consider donating below.

As we approach the one year anniversary of the start of construction, Phase Two of the construction process has begun. This phase will see the trail’s completion as well as the installation of two more platforms. One platform will be 16ftx16ft and the second will be 12ftx8ft, overlooking the back pond.

A Fully Accessible Trail at the Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center, a one of a kind in Connecticut!

As the Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2020, we embarked on a capital campaign entitled Blazing New Trails.

Inspiring and enabling people of all ages to spend time in nature is at the core of the Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut’s mission. These experiences are long-lasting and shape opinions about the natural world leading to the protection of our natural environment.

Setting the educational benefits aside, the health benefits of spending time outdoors in nature is well-documented. Exposure to nature has been linked to a host of benefits, including improved attention, lower stress, better mood, reduced risk of psychiatric disorders and even upticks in empathy and cooperation.

This mile-long nature trail will be accessible to people using wheelchairs, strollers, walkers and other mobility devices.

Shelters and Benches.

Benches will be installed frequently along the trail with special handles designed to assist people with disabilities. Additionally, three shelters will be installed in unique habitats to provide wildlife viewing opportunities as well as cover during inclement weather.

Elevated Boardwalks.

The trail will access the pristine Freeman Hill Brook and will provide areas to quietly enjoy the sounds of its gently flowing waters.

Crushed Stone Dust.

Trail surface will be a combination of compacted stone dust and boardwalks. This surface aids with easy mobility.

Scenic Stops.

Scenic pull-offs with benches will allow for resting and learning about points of interest.