Monday, March 16, 2020

Our Favorite Walks Part 2: Val Gosset

This post is part of a continuing series describing the Trails Committee members favorite jaunts along Shelton's thirty miles of trails. There are many types of trails located across the city, from the handicapped-accessible Rec Path to the rugged Paugussett Trail. 

Val has two favorites depending on whether she's looking for a walk or wants to jog. Both are centrally located in the popular Shelton Lakes Greenway near the schools and dog park.

Val's Turkey Trot loop with her alternate access off Independence Drive

Walking Favorite: Turkey Trot Trail via Independence Drive. "When I need to get out in nature and stretch my legs, the Turkey Trot Trail is my go-to hike. It's easy for me to access from the Paugussett Trail crossing on Independence Drive. I love the variety -- the sunshine under the powerlines, the shade of the woods, the spring peepers (at the right time of year) in the Southwest corner, and the multiple views of Silent Waters. There are enough ups and downs that it's more than "a walk in the woods," so I feel like I've had some exercise. And even though I rarely see other people -- and very few houses -- I'm always close to civilization so I feel completely safe. Lovely solitude!"

Silent Waters overlook

This is a moderately easy loop of 2.3 miles. The official trailhead for Turkey Trot Trail is located on Constitution Blvd North near the Intermediate School. But the trails often have alternate access points which may be more convenient depending on where you live. Val likes to access Turkey Trot Trail via Independence Drive at the powerlines (for GPS use #81 Independence Drive). There is no dedicated parking area here, so you need to park along the street.

Walk around the gate on the gravel utility road heading south up the hill. You'll be following the blue blazes of the Paugussett Trail to reach Turkey Trot Trail. While under the powerlines, there are no trees, so the blue rectangles have been painted on rocks, powerline towers, and gate posts.  After the crest of the hill, look carefully for the Paugussett Trail to take a sharp left off of the utility road and head into the woods. Continue following the blue blazes until you come to a junction with white blazes. Your loop begins here. Take a right turn and follow the white blazes of Turkey Trot Trail.  Cross the powerlines, head back into the woods, and up another hill. Keep following the white blazes. The trail will gradually loop back to the left, with Willoughby Road and then Shelton Ave close by on the right.

Turkey Trot Trail will come out under the powerlines once again near Shelton Ave (an alternate access point). Turn left to follow the powerlines (look for white markings on the rocks but they fade quickly) and then turn right to go back into the woods. Shelton Ave will continue to be on the right and soon the pond known as Silent Waters will be on the left. Keep following the white markings to the left as the trail rejoins the Rec Path and goes along the top of an old dam from the late 1800s. A bridge over the old spillway is a favorite stopping point. Look for heron and wood ducks. Continue along the top of the old dam and follow the wide crushed stone path.

Take this left to head back up towards Independence Drive

There are now blue blazes in addition to the white blazes. Follow those blue and white blazes as they take a hard left off of the gravel path and head up the hill, bringing you back to where you started the Turkey Trot loop. Take a right to follow the blue blazes back to the powerlines, turn right and follow the utility road down the hill to your car.


Rec Path between the dog park and Wesley Drive

Jogging Favorite: Shelton Lakes Recreation Path (Hope Lake to Wesley Drive)."For a quick jog, my favorite part of the Rec Path runs from the bench overlooking Hope Lake (the walk up the hill from the Dog Park is my warmup!) to Wesley Drive and back again. It's a nice 3+ miles, not too hilly, and for the most part, houses and streets are out of sight. In June, the mountain laurel in bloom under the powerlines is spectacularly beautiful." 

Val's favorite jogging route (out and back)

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