You're invited to take the Shelton Trails Trivia Quiz (October Edition) to test your knowledge of Shelton's wonderful trail system. Click HERE to take the quiz, and come on back when you're done to have each answer explained below.
1. Which trail is called "the blue dot": Shelton Lakes Recreation Path, the River Walk, Tahmore Trail, or the Paugussett Trail?
The Paugussett Trail is part of a 825-mile network of "Connecticut Blue-Blazed Trails" that are all marked with blue blazes, hence the nickname "Blue Dot." The sky-blue color was selected many decades ago after testing the visibility of various colors at dusk, with light blue doing the best. "Blue Dot" seems to be a strictly local nickname, however. Elsewhere in Connecticut, the "dot"nickname references side trails that were blazed with a blue rectangle and a 'dot' of another color on top of the blue. People would speak of the "yellow dot" connector trail, which meant a blue rectangle with a yellow circle in the middle. These days, two-color blazes are done with blue on top third of the rectangle and the secondary color being the bottom third. This allows for complete blazing in one step rather than waiting for the color underneath to dry.
2. Which trail is famous for it's spring wildflower display: Tahmore Trail, Nells Rock Trail, Boehm Pond Trail, or Birchbank Trail?
Birchbank Trail is located in an area of marble, which makes the soil sweet, and bottom of the river bank is moist and cool. During April, a blanket of Dutchman's Breeches carpet the ground on either side of the trail. Other wildflowers include Red Trillium, Dog Leaf Toothwort, Trout Lily, Bloodroot, and Blue Cohosh. The display is short-lived, and by mid-summer even the foliage of Dutchman's Breeches has died back completely.
3. When you see two offset blazes of the same color on a tree, what does that mean?
It means the trail is turning in the direction of the upper blaze. This is especially important to know if the trail tread is obscured by fresh leaves or snow.
4. Which of the following cannot be found on Nells Rock Trail: Pokemon, picnic tables, letterboxes, or geocaches?
Picnic tables! There are none on this trail. There are geocaches, letterboxes, and Pokemon. The Nells Rock kiosk is a Pokestop in the PokemonGo app.
5. Which trail features an old mill dam: Gristmill Trail, Rec Path, Boehm Pond, or the Nicholdale Perimeter Trail?
Gristmill Trail features an old mill dam near the trail head, along with a bench. The dam was used to raise the water level and direct water into a head race, which would power a mill. It may have been a gristmill, which would grind grain. Note that there are big dams along the Rec Path, but they were not mill dams. These dams created a water supply that could be used to fight fires downtown during the industrial peak.
6. Which trail is blazed blue+yellow: Paugussett Trail, Boehm Pond Trail, the Rec Path, or Tahmore Trail?
Tahmore Trail has the blue+yellow blazes. Previous blazes were blue with a yellow dot in the center. The Paugussett Trail blazes are blue, Boehm Pond has white blazes and some yellow blazes, and the Rec Path is not blazed (although there are some old yellow blazes here and there).
7. Which of the three "Shelton Lakes" is stocked with trout: Pine Lake, Silent Waters, or Hope Lake?
Hope Lake is stocked with trout. The other two reservoirs are too shallow and warm for trout.
8. Which trail was created specifically to be used by the SIS cross-country team: Turkey Trot Trail, Shelton Lakes Recreation Path, Oak Valley Trail, or the Paugussett Trail?
Turkey Trot Trail was laid out to achieve specific mileage needed by the SIS cross country team. Runners need to do the outer loop as show on the map above and then an inner loop. An apparent wayward bend in the trail near Willoughby Road was added to get the mileage correct.
9. Which trail has an overlook of the Derby/Shelton dam: Paugussett Trail, Bluff Walk, Birchbank Trail, or the Rec Path?
The correct answer is the Bluff Walk at Riverview Park. This is Shelton's oldest park, and portions of this trail are so old we have no idea when it was created.
10. What trail has an overlook of Lake Housatonic (but not the Derby/Shelton dam): Paugussett Trail, Bluff Walk, Birchbank Trail, or the Rec Path?
This overlook is on the Paugussett Trail (blazed blue). It's located in our Birchbank open space, and the Paugussett can be accessed from Birchbank Trail (blazed white).