Public Events

Explore Nature While Social Distancing at the Wadsworth Mansion!

I’ve always known the Wadsworth Mansion as a gorgeous venue for weddings and events. However, when I started working at the mansion I soon found out that it had so much more to offer. I was delighted to learn that the mansion had walking and hiking trails that lead through gorgeous deciduous forest replete with red-tailed hawks, blue jays, cardinals, sparrows, and more.

As we practice social distancing, I thought now would be the perfect time to highlight some of my favorite places on our trails and encourage our local community to take advantage of this amazing resource to get out into nature with their children and family.

The Wooden Bridge and Vernal Pool

This is the Vernal Pool. You can see the wooden bridge far on the opposite side, which is a great place for photos!

Off to the side of the mansion and down one trail, you can find a wooden bridge that goes over the Vernal Pool. This pool of water is only filled during the wet season in early spring. During a warmer day, you can hear all of the “peepers,” which is our nickname for all of the frogs singing to one another in the pool. If you peer into the water, you can usually see a frog or three hiding at the bottom, or taking a moment to catch some air before diving back down again.

The Old Carriage Drive

I adore the old carriage drive, which was once the original drive up to the house. When you

The old carriage drive with its mossy, stone walls!

walk from the mansion parking lot down our current driveway, you can find it on the righthand side. It’s hard to miss with the old, mossy stone walls and giant oaks that line the large path. If you look along the wall as you walk, you may see a stone jutting from it. In the past, this functioned as a small step for farmers and groundskeepers to easily get over the wall from one side of the grounds to the other, without needing to go around the wall. I personally love to take my dog walking here, and he seems to love it too!

The Fallen Arch

My dog, Watson, loves walking the trails with me!

The paths all have signs that detail a bit more about the history of the mansion and the grounds. However, my favorite location is the fallen arch that once stood along one of the paths. This arch once stood over a road, but fell by the wayside as the road turned into a hiking trail. Whenever I see it, I realize how much history can be found in this place, which makes me love it even more. I also really enjoy reading all of the placards that lead up to this point, since it allows me to remember a bit more about the history of the mansion.

 

If you have a chance to explore the trails at the Wadsworth Mansion, I highly recommend them. They’re

Jessica’s kids enjoy a beautiful day outdoors on the trail!

full of pretty views, and there is a ton of wildlife. Whenever I drive in early to work, I’m sure to see our local herd of deer, or some kind of bird of prey. It’s an easy hike for kids and adults of all ages. In fact, my co-worker, Jess, loves to bring her kids here! It’s also a great way to spend the afternoon outdoors, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

You can find more information about the trails and nature located at the Wadsworth Mansion  here!

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Daffodil Festival 2019: Celebrate Spring!

The Wadsworth Mansion’s Daffodil Festival has improved each and every year, adding in live music, more vendors, tours, and fun outdoor activities. This year, we’re making things even better at the Beaux Art style mansion. You’ll be able to go on Docent-guided tours, nature walks, and even watch a raptor presentation by A Place Called Hope, LLC.

The Daffodil Festival has taken place every year since it first started over 20 years ago on April 26, 1997. Back then, it wasn’t the large event that it is today. During the first festival, the Friends of Long Hill Estate invited locals from Middletown to welcome Spring amid daffodils that they had planted in the autumn with the Middletown Garden Club. At the time, the mansion was undergoing renovations and construction after it had been left to molder for years. However, this first festival, complete with live music and a small tent, cemented the idea that the Wadsworth Mansion was a place for everyone.

Over the years, thousands of daffodils have been planted on the estate and Daffodil Day itself has become an annual tradition. Previous events have included sheep dogs herding sheep on the Vista, naturalists helping visitors investigate the Vernal Pool, and so much more.

With the help of dedicated volunteers, the trails and grounds of the Wadsworth Mansion has become a beautiful public resource. Guests can enjoy the 103 acres of parkland as they walk along beautiful nature trails, enjoy the spring flowers already in bloom, learn the story of this historic mansion, and connect with one another in this shared space.

We’re so excited to host another Daffodil Festival this year. The daffodils are already on full display at the entrance to the mansion, and the cherry blossom trees are in full bloom. This year, we’re teaming up with Middletown Rocks FB to encourage attendees to paint, hide, and find painted rocks among the Mansion grounds and trails. We were specifically inspired by the Kindness Rocks movement, and think it’s a great way to welcome the spring season!

If you happen to be in the area, remember to swing by the mansion on April 28 starting at 1:00 PM. We’ll have food trucks, live music, fun outdoor activities, and plenty to see and do! And if you have a chance, let us know what you think! We definitely want to make sure that the Daffodil Festival gets better each and every year.

See you at the Festival!

For more information about the schedule of events at the Daffodil Festival, click here.

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Celebrating Spring

Although the weather has been a little rainy and gloomy as of late here at the Mansion, it was nothing short of perfection for our annual Daffodil Day event on Sunday, April 24, 2016. We had quite the turn out of visitors and volunteers alike, who enjoyed a relaxing afternoon in the sunshine with historical tours, guided hikes, and food truck picnicking. Our 1st Annual Daffodil Dash was excellent fun for the teams and spectators alike, with smiling faces, elevated heart rates, and good sportsmanship abounding. Cash Lane Slim’s smooth vocals and guitar wafted through the mansion while Mr. Bungles’ bubbles drifted across the terrace, delighting attendees of all ages. A grand time was had by all, so much so that we almost can’t wait to host Daffodil Day again next year! (But first…wedding season…)

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Natalie Newman Locke, the Event Supervisor and a Wadsworth Mansion bride herself, is a seasoned wedding & production professional.  When not creatively writing, photographing weddings, or acting as social media guru, she enjoys sampling wedding cake.

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