Saturday, January 31, 2015

Birchbank Trail Mapping

Most of our trails were mapped back in the 1990s before the proliferation of gps units, and we did it by looking at a topo map and simply estimating where we thought the trail was on that map. Recently, I took advantage of a clear sky and clear canopy to record the trail location with a Garmin gps receiver. Steep hills and rock outcroppings can interfere with satellite signals, an effect called "bounce", and clouds and a heavy canopy can also weaken the signal. 

In the map below, the grey lines are from the existing Birchbank Mountain trail map, while the red line is the route recorded by gps. As you can see, the old-school method of trail mapping was in the right ballpark, and good enough for hiking, but the gps data is more accurate.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Open Space off Buck Hill Road

The Board of Aldermen just approved the purchase of two acres of land in the Shelton Lakes Greenway located between Buck Hill Road, Doe Place, and Wesley Drive. The Rec Path and the Paugussett Trail are nearby. The map below shows the location of the property in relation to the trails. 

The property was offered for sale by the owners Theodore and Nina Shevzov, who are splitting their four-acre property in order to sell the back two acres as open space.  The sale price of $75,000 was based on the per-acre price of the abutting Dikovsky open space purchased a few years ago. The new open space is surrounded by pre-existing open space on three sides. 

This is the third strategic open space purchase along this part of the greenway belt in the past few years. The first was the Dikovsky acquisition, which included a broad valley overlooked by the Rec Path.  Last year the City purchased the Kassheimer property, known for a set of impressive cliffs just north of the Rec Path.