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Backcountry Snowshoeing in Steep Rock
An Exploration in Nature

Date: Sunday, January 28, 2018
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location: Steep Rock Preserve (2 Tunnel Road)

Strap on snowshoes and embark on a guided backcountry bout with the Steep Rock Association.

Experience the beauty of our winter landscape from vantage points otherwise unattainable without the use of snowshoes. Snowshoeing is a unique form of hiking that allows for transportation over deep snow, and thanks to this cover, travel off-trail presents no harm to sensitive flora.

Join us where recreation meets discovery. Explore forested stands, meadow edges, and brook corridors on this 2-mile hike through Steep Rock Preserve, following tracks and looking for signs of life along the way. Although travel will be at a leisurely pace, expect a moderately difficult hike due to uneven terrain beginning at the Steep Rock Preserve parking lot.

If a lack of adequate snow prevails, enjoy a guided winter walk instead; rainy weather cancels. All ages are welcome, but please note the hike’s length and difficulty level. Participants should wear warm clothing and bring snowshoes if available to them. Those without snowshoes should share their height and weight when registering so Steep Rock Association can provide snowshoes. Snowshoe rental is donated by Sportsmen’s of Litchfield. Registration is required and donations are gratefully accepted. Please register online using the button below or call the office at 860.868.9131.

PROGRAM LEADERS:  Rory Larson serves as SRA’s Conservation and Program Leader working to best manage the preserve’s biodiversity as well as to enhance people’s connection to nature.


New England Cottontail Pellet Survey
A Citizen Science Opportunity

Date: February 3, 2018
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location: Macricostas Preserve (124 Christian Street)

 Steep Rock Association (SRA) asks for your help with conducting scientific research on rare rabbits as a citizen scientist searching for rabbit pellets.  Samples collected will be sent to a lab for analysis to determine if our preserves are home to Connecticut’s only native rabbit – the New England Cottontail.  In addition, its presence or absence provides insight to The New England Cottontail Initiative in Connecticut, a collaborative effort between multiple organizations.

Citizen science is a method where non-professionals contribute to scientific studies.  It has proved to be an effective way of performing projects, some that may not be achievable otherwise, while engaging and educating the community.  Due to the nature of New England Cottontails, this project is a quality citizen science opportunity.

New England Cottontails require large patches of early successional habitat, preferring forested thickets.  The more folks willing to brave dense vegetation, the more likely we are to document this species that has become increasingly threatened by competition from the introduced eastern cottontail and diminished habitat availability.  Beyond scat, exploring off trail usually turns up interesting findings worthy of sharing with the group.

This study is weather-dependent (requiring a relatively fresh snow).  A back-up date of February 10, 2018 has been scheduled if snow cover on February third does not meet protocol requirements.  Please check our Facebook page for a cancellation notice prior to the survey date.

Participants should meet at SRA’s main Macricostas Preserve parking lot located at 124 Christian Street, New Preston, CT 06777.  Please wear warm clothing and boots during the survey.  Depending on snow depth, your snowshoes may be advisable.  All other equipment will be provided on site.  All ages are welcome; however, children must be accompanied by an adult.  Registration is helpful, but not required and donations are gratefully accepted.


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