Thursday, December 27, 2018

Gristmill Trail is Clear

Gristmill Trail on Mill Street is a short level walk along the Far Mill River.  Even in winter it's very picturesque.

The Far Mill River flowing over the old mill dam is a great feature along the trail.  This park is one of the reasons that Mill Street is one of Shelton's Designated Scenic Roads.  If you're work or live near Bridgeport Avenue it makes for a surprisingly peaceful visit for a short walk or lunch outing.

The mostly level trail lies within the floodplain along the Far Mill River.  Open space and trails are good uses for a floodplain.  The land acts as a sponge to absorb some of the impact during floods, and no ones home or business gets damaged.  The property is nice and level, with good footing and some occasional trees that you had to step around.  But when we get a series of floods like we had during this year the river gets it into it's head to start wandering and rearranging things a bit.

One area that was a problem was a growing log jam across a portion of the trail that was causing the water to back up and erode a nice quality stone tread section that someone had built.  Water would swirl around the jam, overtop the bank and threatened to wash out the stones.

A little chainsaw work this past week cleared up most of that problem and re-opened the trail for the public.

Other blow downs and hanging trees were also cleared along the trail.

Over New Years we has some more flooding, but this time the water could pass around the side of the stone steps without as much erosion.

And here's a better view of the trail during a flood.  Normally the water isn't this high, but you have to plan for those things.  The stonework does a great job holding the trail tread in place.

There are other sections of the trail that still need work; clipping, raking, filling in holes, but it's much better now than it was.  So take advantage and go exploring the Far Mill River in 2019.

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