Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Stablizing the Old Barn

Bill Dyer and Mark Vollaro met Dan & Dave Construction at the Old Trails Barn to see if something could be done to stabilize it before it falls down.  The Barn dates back to the 1800's, and time and the elements have taken their toll.

Dan & Dave checked the barn and the timber foundation was pretty shot.  They tried to tie straps around the Barn and pull it back to vertical, while jacking up the foundation.  The Barn started to shift a bit, so they did some quick work.

They were able to shore up the northeast corner of the Barn and add some rocks under the sill to give it some more support.  They also added some interior bracing to the post and beam timber frame inside the Barn.

When the Barn shifted Dan & Dave had to make a few minor adjustments to the door frame in order to close them again.

The Old Barn looks better.  Now we'll be able to store our supplies and lumber out of the weather.

The Barn still has a littttle curvature to it, but the doors open and close.  Maybe we can get another 100 years of it. 

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Fall Full Moon Hike

We were blessed with some uncommonly warm and dry weather for our Full Moon Hike.   The hike started on the RecPath at Lane St and proceeded along the RecPath to Great Ledge.  It was about 1.5 miles each way, total 3.0 miles.


There were a lot of flashlights and headlamps, which made it look a little like the movie Close Encounters of a Third Kind at the beginning.  We think that we started with about 22 people.

It was a beautiful night out.  The moon was clearly visible throughout the hike - this photo was taken at the Land Trust Meadow on the Hawley Preserve.

The views of the moon were really good when we came out to the powerlines by Great Ledge.  Everyone took in the night sky.  I think it was Saturn that was just below the moon.

And we had a pleasant walk back.  We think we finished with about 12 people.  Some turned back earlier near Huntington Woods.  So we were batting .500, which was good.  We had wanted to have another night hike for a while, and this one turned out really well.  Thanks to everyone who came out.

Hey It's Not Raining Today; Clearing Brush on the RecPath Oak Valley Rd to Great Ledge

We had a great turnout of volunteers at Oak Valley Road this morning.  We had been rained out a lot of Saturdays this fall, but not today.  

On group when N. along the RecPath, and the rest went S.  We were cutting back brush along the side of the RecPath some of these areas were closed during the Eversource powerline construction.

There were also mundane tasks, such as finding, and clearing, drainage pipes under the RecPath and channels on on either side of the Path.

We cut back a 2' wide shoulder on each side of the 8' wide RecPath.  Some native shrubs such as these Winterberries were preserved.  Winterberry provide food for birds in late fall and early winter.


Cutting out around the corners too, for better sightlines.

Eversource had restored the portions of the RecPath that had been damaged.  They mulched the crushed stone RecPath for some reason.

The stones along the edge with Spooner Swamp were a nice touch.  The top course of stone needs to be checked.  It looks like Eversource used coarser stone than we specified - something to be discussed for the final punch list with Eversource.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Eversource Trail Closure Status

(updated Oct 18, 2023):  The trails at Shelton Lakes are open! We are still fixing up some of the trail crossings, so hikers may encounter sections under the powerlines that are unblazed or that have uneven footing. 

French's Hill remains inaccessible due to active construction, probably for the remainder of the year.  Typical construction hours are 7AM-7PM Monday through Saturday.  See this previous post for more info about the project. Consider exploring our other trails such as Boehm Pond,  Nicholdale Farm, Birchbank Mountain, Tahmore Trail, and Woodsend Trail at Housatonic Woods.  

Saturday, October 14, 2023

RecPath Work Party at Lane St

 We managed to squeeze in a work party at Lane St. before the rain hit.  The meadow had grown in so much that our 8' wide RecPath was down to 2' in some places.

Mark had the crew clear out the briars and stubs around the Sycamore Tree.

Val and Annie cutting brush and raking along both sides of the trail.

Dora & Jason cutting brush.

The crew clearing out debris.

After:  the RecPath edges still need work, but they are a lot better than they were.  Thanks to everyone who came to help out.