Wednesday, December 23, 2020

2020 in Review: A Year to Remember

2020 Out & About Challenge
2020 was a big year for our trails, which suddenly became more popular than anyone could ever imagine.  The pandemic forced many work parties to be cancelled even as trail use was through the roof.  Even so, trail volunteers logged 1200 hours this year in Shelton, an average of 100 hours each month, not including several major Eagle Scout projects and the efforts of many trail users who help keep the trails clear by removing fallen branches and reporting blowdowns. Most of those hours were done independently (rather than work parties). Here are some trail volunteer highlights:

Events: While other towns were closing down their trails in response to the pandemic, Shelton created the 2020 Out and About Challenge to encourage people to visit our lesser-known public properties and trails. In November, participants were rewarded with an invitation-only hike and a drawing for carved hiking sticks.

So many people attended the Full Moon Hike held in October (157 people with additional people unable to park and join the hike), the Trails Committee has had to put a hold on public hikes for the time being. 

One of many blowdowns from Storm Isaias

Storm Isaias (hit August 4): From August to October, volunteers recorded 158 hours clearing trees and limbs from the trails, mostly chainsaw work. Staff also assisted, and some blowdowns were cleared by mystery volunteers, probably mountain bikers. 

New section of Tahmore Trail

Trail Relocations & New Trails Completed: The cooler months are for trail relocations, and there were several accomplished in 2020.  

Korey Barber's bridge leading to Webb Mountain
Eagle Scout Projects: 
  • Korey Barber & Troop 27 constructed a large bridge where the Paugussett Trail crosses Round Hill Brook and enters Webb Mountain Park. 

  • Andrew Kluk, Troop 3, constructed and installed mile markers along the Rec Path. 

  • Marc Santacapita, Troop 19, relocated a bridge and installed bog walks for a Paugussett Trail relocation off of Independence Drive. 
Dozens of hand-routered signs were installed in 2020

Other Projects: 
  • The Rec Path at Wesley Drive & Lane Street was resurfaced after being used as a temporary road during construction of the Lane Street bridge
  • 188 tires were removed from the Little Pond Trail off of Beech Tree Hill Road.
  • About 30 hand-routered signs were created and installed along the trail system.
  • The Birchbank trails were all reblazed. 
  • Access for the trails gator & DR mower was improved
  • Plans for a replacement trails building were finalized (the existing structure is near collapse). 

188 tires were removed from Little Pond Trail


  1. Outstanding Post: that's an amazing amount of good stuff that was accomplished this year despite the Covid epidemic. 2020 was by far a Record Year for people using Shelton's trails; which has caused some problems, but also opened up a lot of peoples eyes about what our town has to offer. For all the bad stuff that happened this year there was good stuff too, and we need to remind ourselves of that. That things have gone so well despite all the problems, and so much has been done is a huge credit to all the volunteers & staff who plan and maintain the City's open space and trail systems. It's good to live in a "can do" town where it's not just how much stuff do you have that counts, but also what the quality of life is that matters. We may not be all be able to cure Covid, but we can always pick up tires. Thanks to all the wonderful folks who make Shelton a decent place to live and work.

  2. Thank you for everything that all the volunteers have done. I immensely enjoy the trails. Looking forward to utilizing them mire in 2021. Still looking for a walking partner. I usually walk 3-5 miles.