Susan Raff heads to Farmington - WFSB 3 Connecticut

20 Towns in 20 Days

Susan Raff heads to Farmington

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Farmington's Winding Trails was featured in 20 Towns in 20 Days (WFSB) Farmington's Winding Trails was featured in 20 Towns in 20 Days (WFSB)
FARMINGTON, CT (WFSB) -

Another town featured in the 20 Towns in 20 Days series is Farmington; a Hartford suburb where “nature rules.”

People flock to Farmington to relax and enjoy just about every outdoor sport, at places like Winding Trails.

"It started as a day camp. Now it's like an adult camp,” said Executive Director Scott Brown.

The facility is surrounded by wilderness and all of its beauty.

Brown started working at Winding Trails 31 years ago, and it’s a job he said he loves too much to leave.

"This is Nature's Porch. School groups come here, and they learn about the pond and the woods,” Brown said.

Nature's Porch is where children learn about wildlife and Walton’s Pond, which is stocked with lots of trout and is fed by a spring and is very clean.

The island in the middle wasn't always an island. It was all land at one time. There’s a burned-out structure that is the old caretaker's house, which burned down but some of it is still standing.

This year they are building a new boat house.

Winding Trails is also open year-round, and in the winter, it is a wonderland.

"We have the only cross country ski center left in the state,” Brown said.

There's also snow shoeing and plenty of ice skating. There are 380 acres, a perfect place for ziplining and wall climbing.

"Many people don't know much about Winding Trails,” said Randy Ulloa, of Farmington.

While some may not have heard of Winding Trails, a lot have. It's become a very popular place. The waiting list for a membership is three years.

"We've been named the ‘Best Day Camp’ in the state for the past 4 years. A good reputation which unfortunately means some kids can't get in the program,” Brown said.

You also don’t have to be a member to visit the facility in the winter. Winding Trails is a place few people take for granted.

"We love coming down here - in the middle of the day just enjoying nature. A very peaceful place to come and kind of unwind,” Ulloa said.

The Farmington Rotary meets for lunch every week, talking about ways to help their community.

One of the things the Rotary wants to do, is help build a playground for the West Woods Upper Elementary School.

The school really doesn't have much for kids to play on during recess, and Eyewitness News gave the Rotary a check for $1,000 to help those students.

"They do not have a playscape right now so I heard from their committee that they were looking for a way to fundraise ---because they wanted to build a playscape but they didn't know how to fundraise.  The Rotary Club is a good fundraiser so we said we will put our support behind it,” said President of the Farmington Rotary Phil Chabat.

The Farmington Rotary is raising $150,000 for that playground at the elementary school. They help about 20 different organizations in town.

The rotary is important because it helps different groups get federal grants. Eighty percent of the money they help raise stays in Farmington.

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