Trail Spin

Trail Spin

Every now and then, geographically diminutive Connecticut manages to outdistance the country. We’ll be doing that this weekend when the Connecticut Forest & Park Association’s celebration of National Trails Day spans not one but two days, Saturday through Sunday.

With more than 180 guided or self-guided events classified under “nature walk,” “hike,” “paddle,” “educational walk,” “horseback ride,” “trail maintenance” or even, in one case, “multi-day backpacking,” you can participate near and far, on your own or in a group, and enjoy both classic and unconventional trail experiences.

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Here are some of the latter:

Thames River Heritage Park Quest | Details
“Follow the clues and learn about the hidden history of Thames Street, the 1781 attack by British forces led by Benedict Arnold, and the ecology of the area and the Thames River estuary as you solve a word puzzle. Finish the Hidden Thames Street Quest, then follow the clues in 3 additional quests, while exploring heritage sites that capture the hearts of bird watchers, dog walkers and history buffs alike.”

Massaro Community Farm Nature Trail | Details
“This year’s annual CT Trails Day event at Massaro Community Farm will focus on the history of farming and its relation to the Connecticut landscape. We will be joined by local historians to discuss the history of the area as we navigate Massaro’s 3/4 mile nature trail.”

Train Wreck Guided Tour | Details
“Hike to the site of a famous train wreck. It was foggy as the sun rose on December 4, 1891. Due to incomplete communications and a slight delay, two trains collided head on at the East Thompson Junction”—as two additional trains were bearing down.

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Ice House Ruins Trail | Details
“This trail explores the site of a commercial ice harvesting operation that was active from 1908-1929. There is a self-guided interpretive brochure to accompany the stops along the trail, which you can access by scanning the QR codes on posts along the trail.”

Wonder of Flight Interactive Air Show | Details
“The Air Show will include numerous giant scale radio controlled model planes, helicopters, gliders and drones, some with wing spans exceeding ten feet. The Air Show is hosted by the Country Squires, a group of remote controlled aircraft enthusiasts registered with Academy of Model Aeronautics. As the models perform aerobatic flights, an announcer will fully explain elements of the flights and respond to questions from spectators.”

Menunkatuck Trail to Broomstick Ledges | Details
This one is unconventional simply for being especially long, tough and gratifying. “This is a strenuous hike, with just a few stops. We’ll take Blue-Blazed trails to the Broomstick Ledges coming back on part of the water company Genesee Trails as well as the Menunkatuck Trail, named for the first human inhabitants of this region. We’ll be on the southernmost segment of the New England Trail, connecting the Mattabessett Trail with Long Island Sound in the town of Guilford.”

Connecticut Trails Day Celebration
Saturday, June 5 – Sunday, June 6, 2021…

Written and photographed by Dan Mims. Image features a head of lettuce growing at Massaro Community Farm.

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