Friday, April 1, 2011

RecPath Entrance Completed 4/1/11

The RecPath entrance on Rt. 108 is DONE! And no, it's not an April Fools Joke. The contractors finished yesterday before the storm hit.

The fine crushed stone was placed over the base from Rt. 108 at Nells Rock Road.

A small culvert was installed to pick up drainage along Rt. 108 near the crosswalk. Now our feet will be dry & we should have an easier time hitting the crosswalk button while driving the Gator on work parties.

The parking lot was cleaned up and boulders placed so people stop parking on the RecPath. Now we've got to get up some temporary signs. Permanent granite bollards, fencing, and a sign kiosk are planned for this spot. Nice Progress - Woo Whoo!


  1. I have lived near this trail system for the last two years and use them almost 4x per week year-round for hiking, biking, running, and walking. While I am not condoning the use of ATVs or dirtbikes on the trails, I find it slightly hypocritical that this site as well as the Shelton Trails site is promoting all the recent construction taking place, while demonizing the use of ATVs/dirtbikes. I far prefer the wooded backcountry views of the old trails compared to the new "paved dirt" look that has recently taken over the trail system by knocking out a bunch of trees and throwing dirt down. I'm no environmental engineer, but it seems to me that the recent construction (destruction?) has caused more harm to the ecosystem than any handful of dirtbikes ever could (knocking down trees, exhaust from machinery, etc). I'm hoping Shelton tax dollars aren't paying for this either.

  2. Thoughtful comment - glad that you enjoy using the trail system frequently. You raise some interesting points & you might be surprised to learn the the Trails Committee shares some of your thoughts.

    I would like to offer a short history on the RecPath. I don't know if you were around in '98 when the City was going thru the big referendum to purchase Shelton Lakes and other BHC lands for open space. A lot of people asked that if we spend all this money to buy land as open space rather than see it developed as housing how will it be used? The Conservation Commission, lead by Terry Jones and Harriet Wilber put forward a vision of a linear greenway that would have a variety of uses, including the RecPath, so that everybody could enjoy the park, even if they were handicapped or wanted to take some kids for a bike ride. The idea was to keep most of the land in it's natural condition, but give the 40,000 people who had to pay for it a reason to do so. The referendum was wildly popular in favor of preserving the land and passed by a 7-1 margin. We immediately started constructing hiking trails so that people could enjoy portions of the property for passive recreation.

    Fast forward 13 years; it has taken a loooooong time to get designs, permits, and funding in place, but the RecPath construction that is going on now is finally achieving one of the major objectives that was originally planned when the City purchased the property. You are absolutely correct that there is temporary disruption when the construction is going on but the Contractors who were selected are doing about as "dainty" a job as you can do with an excavator to preserve the natural features along the route.

    The reasons the ATV's and motorcycles were banned from the open spaces is that they were tearing up the trails right after it rained, everybody finally got tired of this nonsense & the Aldermen passed ordinances kicking them off all City properties and roads. Nobody who is actively involved with trails or open space preservation in Shelton is a bit sorry about that either - it was a good move by the elected officals.

    The funding for this construction phase is primarily City money, but with some grant money that we won. The majority of the funding for the RecPath has been money that we have won for Shelton in competitive grants. And the current construction is being done very efficiently and well.

    The RecPath is being improved by hired contractors obviously, but the Trail network is built and maintained by volunteers. And we like the rustic trails too, not just the RecPath. We need help from everybody who enjoys and uses the trail system. We get a lot of people waving as they ride by on their bikes or jogging by, but we could really use some help moving rocks and cutting briars. We have a trail work party tomorrow morning at 8:30 on the Turkey Trot Trail at Constitution Boulevard North (across the street from the Intermediate School). Come by for a bit, meet your neighbors and fellow trail fans, have a little fun, and get a little dirty. We can probably introduce you to some new rustic trails that we're working on that you might enjoy.