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Our Neighbors: White Memorial Conservation Center

The Litchfield Hills of northwestern Connecticut, our home ground here at Winvian Farm, are one of New England’s loveliest and most serene corners.

As a cherished guest at our 113-acre resort, you’ll steep in this landscape’s beauty while enjoying the utmost in hospitality and rural luxury. And what’s especially marvelous about Winvian Farm is that we’re nestled in a larger Litchfield Hills mosaic that offers further explorations beyond our grounds.

Earlier this spring we wrote about the charms of White Flower Farm to the east of us; now we’d like to spotlight another neighbor of ours, the White Memorial Conservation Center.

Litchfield Hills Nature on Display

The center sits on the 4,000-acre sanctuary of the White Memorial Foundation, which adjoins Winvian Farm the west and north and surrounds much of beautiful Bantam Lake, the biggest natural lake in Connecticut. The Foundation also encompasses several miles along the Bantam River and a network of ponds and wetlands amid its forests—with an impressive 40 miles of hiking, bicycling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing trails crossing it all.

Dedicated to the conservation of native ecosystems, ecological research, and outdoor recreation, the White Memorial Conservation Center occupies the historic estate of Whitehall and surrounding acreage purchased in the early 20th century by siblings Alain C. White and May W. White. The White Memorial Foundation assumed management of these lands in 1913.

Among the sanctuary’s diverse trail network are interpretive paths such as the Ice House Ruins Trail, which explores the legacy of commercial ice-cutting operations on Bantam Lake, and the Trail of the Senses, curating a tranquil immersion in the natural world of the Litchfield Hills (the designated stops include Braille signage). You can also summit Apple Hill for outstanding views, stroll the Boardwalk over the wildlife-rich wetlands along Little Pond and the Bantam River, or savor the majestic canopy of Catlin Woods.

At the Conservation Center, meanwhile, you can learn more about the area’s habitats, wildlife, and history at a well-maintained museum, or attend one of the many nature programs the facility offers for both adults and children. Upcoming events include a Tree Bark Identification Workshop on May 6 and, on May 13, two great happenings for avian enthusiasts: a guided birdwatching walk seeking spring migrants and “Water Babies: The Hidden Lives of Baby Wetland Birds,” a lecture and book-signing by naturalist/photographer William Burt.

And don’t forget the monthly Public Star Parties the Conservation Center holds (which we wrote about here back in January): outstanding opportunities to get your celestial bearings amid the deep night skies of the Litchfield Hills!

Visit White Memorial Conservation Center on Your Next Winvian Farm Retreat

Check out the complete calendar of upcoming nature walks, presentations, and other events at the White Memorial Conservation Center: More likely than not, there’ll be something going on there when you stay with us here at Winvian Farm. And any time, the museum and extensive trails will deepen your appreciation for the natural magic of northwestern Connecticut—magic you get to immerse yourself in during a luxury idyll at Winvian Farm!