Monday, July 11, 2011

Paugussett Trail Party

Well, after getting complaints that the Paugussett Trail Restoration was "brushy & hard to follow" we did a little well-needed trail maintenance. We worked south from Indian Well State Park, past Rt. 110 and up to Sinsabaugh Heights on Meadow Street.

We parked at the trailhead lot near The Maples on Indian Well Road and hiked in. The DEP had mowed the aisle through the overflow meadow. I don't remember seeing a black bear with us, but Rich is much more observant than me when he takes the team photos. Pity he didn't say "Run, there's a bear behind you."

Here's Sheri, Jim, and Steph Olsen from Connecticut Forest & Parks Association. Steph was a big help (and she drove in from Danbury to work with us). What happened to all the Shelton High students who were looking for community service hours & said they were coming? Alarm clocks work in the summer guys.

Wherever the trail was open we had a lot of brush. We need to go back with some power equipment for those areas, but they're all passable now. Inside the woods the trail was pretty passable, but we took out a lot of barberry.

Climbing the trail above Rt. 110 was pretty tropical following last night's storms. We crossed a number of streams going up the hill.

Bill couldn't be there this morning, so Rich had to do the Carl Spackler imitation with the weedwhacker near where the trail crosses the sewer easement.

And this is what it looked like up by Sinsabaugh Heights. Amazing what a few weeks of torrential rain, sun, and no mowing can do to a trail. This looked like a job for someone who was committed, or who should be committed, so we sent in Jim.

Who had a great time cutting briars, thorns, and other things that wanted to take the hide off trail volunteers. Rich eventually came thru with his weedwhacker; about 10 lbs lighter from all the sweating. The trail is now open from the parking lot at the bottom of Sinsabaugh Heights to Indian Well State Park. The crossing at Meadow Street is a little tough to follow, so we need to add some signs. The adventurous explorers can now find their way from the Shelton Lakes Greenway to Indian Well State Park.

Thanks to everybody who came out. And thanks to Steph from CFPA for coming out and having all the great stories of the petting moose and filming bobcats. It made for a fun and productive, if somewhat hot, morning. There were a number of folks enjoying the hike up to The Well when we left, and hopefully someday will enjoy the restored Paugussett Trail.


  1. Anybody have an email address to ask a question ?

    I wanted to walk the Paugussett Trail but not living in the area I find little sections at a time.

    I am a history 'nut' and kind of looking for traces of the old Paugussett but ---

    I saw the blue blazes at 110 and Indian Wells and thought this might be the old southern part of the Paugussett but --- (old followed 110 westward for awhile ?)

    100+ degree day climbed the blue trail south of Indian Wells. Allot of work to just meet a dead-end with a HOUSE. (???) I saw no evidence of a trail still going forward.

    Curious. Nice walk. Allot of old trees, etc. The trail looks like it might be an 'old' trail but it never was ?????? known the Paugussett went from Lake Zoar area down to Stratford..

    The present section to East Village, Monroe was actually the Pomperaug Trail that I guess is extinct. Went from Bridgeport to Lake Zoar area.


  2. ooops...

    I guess the Pomperaug still exists to north of Lake Zoar. Why rename the old section in Monroe ?

    Bridgeport ? Old map shows it going southbound and touching the Merritt Parkway so not sure without 'study' if that is Trumbull or Bridgeport.

    1. The Connecticut Forest and Parks Association (CFPA) maintains the blue-blazed trails and sells a book of maps called the Connecticut Walk Book. It's highly recommended that anyone hiking the Blue trails purchase this book, available at book stores or online, which both helps fund CFPA and helps you figure out which way to go.

  3. The Paugussett Trail used to extend from Newtown to Stratford, but the southern section was lost in Shelton due to development. We are in the process of restoring it, but we need to add signs in spots, please be patient. The new trail will be following new routes, not the historic trail bed.

    The "house" that you came up to is the Sinsabaugh Heights senior housing neighborhood. From that point you'll have to walk up their driveway to Meadow St., go left for about 500 feet, cross Meadow St. at the new metal gate, and head into the Wiacek open space. From there you will be able to proceed south on the trail through the Shelton Lakes Greenway. There are some very pretty spots, but the crossings at the drives and roads are a little confusing for now - bear with us.