Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Open Space - The Kassheimer Property

Map showing the new property relative to the Rec Path
On October 9,  The Board of Aldermen approved the purchase of 7.3 acres of land owned by the Kassheimer family for $70,000.  The Conservation Commission had pursued the property for many years because it is almost completely surround by public and private open space, and impacts the view along the    Rec Path.  The property features an impressive cliff face along a ridge known as "Great Ledge."

Scenic cliffs. The "gap" is in the right center of the photo.
The conservation land to the west is owned by Aspetuck Village (private). To the north and east is City of Shelton Public Open Space. To the south is the ongoing Huntington Woods development, and the Conservation Commission had some concerns over the years that the development might be extended into the Kassheimer property via Crab Apple Circle, and disrupt the view along the Rec Path.  With this purchase, the entire Great Ledge ridge will be protected from development. (Read about the previous purchase Great Ledge Purchase).

Kassheimer property at the bottom of the ridge
The area is challenging but rewarding to bushwhack across.  From the Rec Path, the easiest way to access the property is probably at the hair-pin turn just south of the powerlines.  From this point, you can head straight towards the cliff through pepperbush. It looks swampy, but I was able to walk through without my feet getting wet. Turn left at the base of the cliff and you are entering the Kassheimer property.  There is a gap between cliffs on the Kassheimer property where one can climb up to the top of the ridge. The top of the cliff is fairly open and there are game trails that are easy to walk along, and in places you can see the Rec Path through the trees.  

Impressive rock face

View from a gap in the cliffs

At the top of the cliff

Looking down the gap between cliffs
You could also try your luck by climbing up the ridge from the north at the powerlines.  There is lose rock and plenty of mountain laurel, but the occasional random path as well. Maybe some day there will be a trail in there, but the Trails Committee is stretched pretty thin just now.

The Great Ledge ridge extends northeast and end at the powerlines

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