Sunday, November 27, 2016

We Flew the Coop!

It's all over....the ginormous turkey (turkeys can get frostbite???), Cousin Helga's cornbread stuffing, Uncle Fred's homemade wine (rough and feathery, with a slight, but heady, acorn bite), the endless football games, and a restful snooze. How to recuperate? We tramped the Turkey Trot Trail 2 mile loop! 

 Click on photos to enlarge 

We gathered at the Shelton Intermediate school, 13 hardy souls and 4 fur persons

Eager to get going

Terrance, our beloved leader, leads from the back

Break time at end of an uphill climb
Enjoying a breather

On the bridge at the Silent Waters dam. This is always a picturesque spot to take in the view
We made it! No loss of life or limb. Missing from photo (but not missing in action), Teresa, Richard, and 2 of the pooches

Saturday, November 26, 2016

New Sign: Paugussett & Tahmore Junction

Inscription on bottom of sign:
"To Dad from Emma Christmas 2015"
It's been about a year since Terry & Teresa Gallagher (me) became the CFPA Trail Managers for the Paugussett Trail from the Monroe line to the falls at Indian Well, including the side loop called Tahmore Trail. For Christmas last year, our daughter Emma routered a new sign for the trail junction between the Paugussett and Tahmore and gave it to her dad.

"Help, I nailed my forehead to the sign and I can't get up!"
Terry loved the sign so much, he didn't want to install it right away because he enjoyed looking at it in the living room. And then when the trees leafed out last summer, we discovered that the old overlook was completely overgrown in the summer. Can't see a thing. And the sign claims there is an overlook to the right in 0.1 mile. So we delayed the sign installation, but contacted CFPA and the park staff at Indian Well State Park to see about getting the overlook view restored. It looks like we can get that done next spring, along with some other major trail improvements and reroutes there at Indian Well, thanks to a grant awarded to CFPA from the new REI store in Milford. So we went ahead and installed the sign after the leaves fell.

Now you know where you are. 
That's a busy section of trail, with lots of people parking down on Birchbank Road and hiking up to the overlook. No one ever carries a map and we get lots of questions about the trails while we're up there, so it's a great place for a sign. While Terry was installing the sign, I blew the leaves off that section of the Paugussett, which is really treacherous going down hill this time of year due to the slippery oak leaves. Hopefully next year well have a more sane route going up the hill and that won't be necessary.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Scenes from the Trails Marathon

We are really enjoying the photos that people are sharing of their adventures while completing the 2016 Shelton Trails Marathon. Hope you enjoy them, too. Email photos to 

Hike #1 Rec Path
(submitted by Todd Edwards)

Hike #2 Gristmill Trail
(Submitted by Holly E. Smalley)
Hike #3 Oak Valley Trail
(Submitted by Todd Edwards)

Hike #4 The Bluff Walk at Riverview Park
(Submitted by Holly E. Smalley)

Hike #4: The Bluff Walk, Fort Hill Pootatuck Indian marker
(Submitted by Todd Edwards)

Hike #5: Nells Rock Trail
(Submitted by Todd Edwards)

Hike #6: Dog Paw & Flower Path
(Submitted by Teresa Gallagher
Hike #7: Turkey Trot Trail
(Annual Turkey Trot Trek)

Hike #7 Turkey Trot Trail/Rec Path/Paugussett
(Submitted by Holly Smalley)

Hike #8 Boehm Pond
(Submitted by Holly E. Smalley)

Hike #10 Birchbank Trail
(Submitted by Todd Edwards)

Hike # 11 Tahmore Trail
(Submitted by Holly E. Smalley)
Hike #12 Paugussett Trail South at "Four Corners"
(Submitted by Todd Edwards)

Hike #13 Paugussett Trail North, Birchbank Overlook
Sandie Skudlarek

Hike #13: Paugussett Trail North (Indian Well State Park)
(Submitted by Todd Edwards)

Hike #13: Paugussett Trail North at "The Boulders"
(submitted by Kristine Lucker)

Saturday, November 12, 2016

A Cool Fall RecPath Saturday; Working and Walking

It was a bit cool when we started work along the Recreation Path on Saturday, but after a while we warmed up and more and more people came out.  Here's Jim trying to sweet talk a few patrons into clipping some briars.  In this case Polly was out with a walk with her grandsons looking for her gallivanting husband.

We were cutting back the shoulders of the RecPath between Pine Lake on Rt 108 and Constitution Boulevard North, blowing out leaves, chopping brush, and other not-so-fun-but-must-be-done maintenance tasks.  And along came a number of members of a hiking club (tourists) enjoying Shelton's trails on a sunny Saturday morning. They thought they would enjoy a quiet Fall walk, but little did they know that they would enjoy the sound of leaf blowers and brushcutters of a trail work party.

We had a good turn-out of volunteers.  Here's Susan clearing out a big section of the RecPath above Meadow Street.  She wasn't making any noise.  We had a lot of help but this section of the RecPath was cleaned up today.

The access trail from Wheeler Street was particularly overgrown.

This is the access gate opposite the Senior Center and the Police Station.  You could barely tell there was a trail there.

But thanks to Sheri and Michael, after a few hours of cutting and hauling, you can tell there's a trail now.  With easy, convenient access to Pine Lake and the RecPath.

And Pine Lake was beautiful this morning.

Curtis Brook was almost glowing in the sunlight coming thru the beech trees below the dam.

There were a number of folks out using the RecPath and the surrounding Greenway this morning.  We got a number of compliments on how well the volunteers were maintaining the RecPath.

Polly never did find Bill, who was looking for Luis, but Jim found Bill, who eventually tracked down Luis, who was headed back to his car.  It's amazing how hard it is to find somebody when and where you want them some days.  But thanks to Chris, Susan, Stan, Luis, John, Michael, Sheri, Jim, Bill, and Terry for helping out today.