White Memorial Canoe Raffle & Fun Late Winter Events

Canoe Raffle, White Memorial, Litchfield CTYou might think Spring, Summer, and Fall are the prime seasons for the White Memorial Foundation and its 40 miles of trails spread across 4,000 acres of nature preserves, and the White Memorial Conservation Center and Nature Museum – and they are, but so is Winter.

In addition to hiking in all seasons, the trails are popular for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, ice fishermen access Bantam Lake, and members of the Connecticut Ice Yacht Club sail across the lake’s frozen surface from a home base at White Memorial’s Point Folly Marina … when conditions allow.

Beyond access for winter activities, the calendar of events is as busy and exciting in the Winter as it is through other seasons – and White Memorial just announced a terrific canoe raffle whose proceeds will help create a new bird blind.

The 1934 Old Town Canoe Raffle

canoe raffle White MemorialThe Conservation Center needs a new bird blind for an area at the back of Ongley Pond and says that, as fate would have it, Bunker Snyder, formerly of Litchfield and now living in Colorado, had no need for his grandfather’s 17-foot 1934 Old Town Canoe.

Bunker donated the boat to White Memorial. It has a serial number and foresters Mike Berry and Jody Bronson researched the vessel, finding its original build sheet. Old Town began building the boat in 1933. It was shipped on April 2, 1934, to outfitter Abercrombie & Fitch in New York. Bunker’s Grandfather purchased it there.

The Refurbishment:

Although in excellent used condition, the boat needed minor refurbishment. It was sent to restoration expert Frank Christinat in Norfolk for a minor facelift including newly caned seats, a freshly sanded and varnished interior, and a fresh coat of paint.

The Raffle Package:

This boat is outfitted with two 57-inch Shaw & Tenny varnished Penobscot ash paddles (donated by the White Memorial Foundation), a Frost River Vintage Pack (donated by Gerri Griswold), and an Antique Cleopatra Seat (donated by Jody Bronson). The total value of this package is $3,300.

Raffle Details:

Only 500 tickets are available. Each ticket is $20. The tickets go on sale at 12 a.m. March 1. The drawing will take place before the Full Flower Moon Hike, on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at 6 p.m. Online ticket sales end May 21. You need not be present to win the Old Town Canoe Package. All proceeds from the raffle will help White Memorial build a gorgeous and very badly needed bird blind.

Please check back here to purchase your tickets online beginning March 1. Tickets can also be purchased in the Nature Museum or by phone by calling 860-567-0857.

Highlights of Some Other Upcoming Events

Happy Hour Hiking Club with Gerri Griswold
February 15 and March 14

Gerri Griswold White MemorialSkip that Happy Hour cocktail and calorie-laden appetizer and take a walk from 4 to 5 p.m. with White Memorial’s Director of Administration and Development Gerri Griswold.

“It may be cold. It may be dark. It may even be snowing … but you can do it,” the White Memorial listing says. Each one-hour walk covers a different trail on the property. At the end of each hike, guests receive a recipe for a healthful, tasty, easy recipe to help keep them on track. Dress for the weather and bring a head lamp or flashlight!  

Guests should meet in the Museum. Advanced registration is required and can be done here. Or call 860-567-0857 to register. The program is free, but donations will be accepted to help defray the Conservation Center’s programming expenses.

Mystery Hike with Gerri Griswold

The next “mystery hike” with Gerri takes place on Saturday, Feb. 24, at 2 p.m. White Memorial says: “You never know what trail conditions will be. Will it be Pine Island? Apple Hill? Beaver Pond? Mother Nature will choose one and we’ll gleefully follow! Dress for the weather. Hiking poles and sturdy, water-proof boots are essential gear!” Guests should meet in the Nature Museum, but need to pre-register here: Mystery Hike Registration

An Evening of Music and Dancing with The Bog Hollow Boys

Bog Hollow Boys White MemorialDave Paton is White Memorial’s “go-to guy” for all things mushroom, but he and a group of friends also make up a bluegrass/folk band with instruments including a hammered dulcimer, fiddle, bass, and guitar.

Bring a dinner and your dancing shoes to the BYOB performance at 6 p.m. in the Carriage House for an evening of toe-tapping feel good music with The Bog Hollow Boys. All tickets are $10. Advanced registration is required and can be done here, or call White Memorial at 860-567-0857.

7th Annual Nature Trivia Night

In the 7th Annual Nature Trivia Night, teams of up to six will compete for a valuable prize. Participants can register individually but should form teams beforehand. No team? No problem! White Memorial will put you on a team when you arrive. (Oh, and they recommend team costumes.)

Participants should bring dinner and BYOB. Dessert, coffee, tea, and water will be provided. Trivia Night begins at 7 p.m. in the Carriage House. The cost is $15 for members and $25 for non-members. Pre-registration and pre-payment are required, and registration can be done here.