The Shelton Trails Committee & Shelton Conservation Commission hosted 3 guided hikes as part of the 2010 Connecticut Trails Day celebrations. About 4o people took part despite the forecast of thunderstorms and muggy weather. Lynn Reid led the hike on the new Paugussett Trail section, Teresa led the Nature Loop at Hope Lake, and the rest of the Trail Com. led the Bridge to Bridge hike starting at the Community Center.
Victoria & Michelle Lown of Higgins Group Real Estate supported us by providing ice cold water. It was much appreciated. We then walked down the sidewalk, crossed Huntington St. at Lane St. and walked down Lane St. to RecPath entrance by the new sign kiosk.
Rich Skudlarek not only was our official Trails Day Photographer, but he also GPSed our route & created aerial overlays. Here's the beginning from Huntington Center, up Lane Street, and through Huntington Woods.
We had a few puppies along for the walk.
Here's Terry Gallagher at Lizard Head Rock explaining how the subdivision road was supposed to go through the cliff, but this piece was preserved as open space in the final approvals. He's also sporting the sylish CFPA "Hike Leader" shirt that was part of Trails Day. Connecticut Forest & Parks Association is one of the oldest environmental groups in the state & they sponsored over 160 events this year.
And here's where we left civilization behind at Crabapple Lane & headed off to Eklund.
The mountain laurels along the powerlines were spectacular. Here's Sheri, Bill, Aleta, and a younger hiker enjoying the views. It was a little hot, but this is definitively something people should visit again this week when it's cooler.
We passed a number of people out enjoying the open spaces. Here's one official-looking mountain biker over by Four Corners.
This is the third leg of the hike from the Eklund Native Species Garden on Oak Valley Road up to the White House on Rt. 108. We followed the blue blazes along the back side of Hope Lake.
And here we are at the Eklund Native Species Garden. The beds are starting to fill in this year.
We stopped at Hope Lake for a short break (and to catch a refreshing breeze). Jim Taradine was enjoying the view across the Lake.
A family was enjoying fishing at Blueberry Point on the south end of the lake.
And we met up with the Hope Lake Nature Hikers on the back side of the Lake. The trails had traffic today, but usually it's an easy quite walk to enjoy fishing or a view of the water.
We came onto the other improved end of the RecPath at Rt. 108 by the White House (city open space). The mountain of road millings in the background was from construction earlier this week. We have been trying to get some for construction of the Recreation Path base, and they were supposed to arrive "sometime in June". Well be careful what you wish for because this mountain got plunked on our RecPath 3 days before Trails Day, but we were able to walk around it.
This is the improved section from Rt. 108 to Pine Lake. Here the RecPath is about 8 feet wide and is surfaced with crushed stone or paved for handicapped accessibility.
This guy & his dad were just finishing kayaking at the Silent Waters Canoe Launch when we passed.
Here's the end of the hike at the Pine Lake trailhead on Rt. 108.
Here's Teresa Gallagher & Lynn Reid; two of our other hike leaders, at the Pine Lake parking lot helping shuttle people back to their cars at the start. Jim is pointing out some of the critters from the vernal pool that Teresa was showing people on the Hope Lake Hike.
And of course there was the post-hike get together at the Huntington St. Cafe after all the shuttling was done. All the hikes were interesting and a lot of fun - enjoy your trails.