Tuesday, October 21, 2014
|Map showing the new property relative to the Rec Path|
On October 9, The Board of Aldermen approved the purchase of 7.3 acres of land owned by the Kassheimer family for $70,000. The Conservation Commission had pursued the property for many years because it is almost completely surround by public and private open space, and impacts the view along the Rec Path. The property features an impressive cliff face along a ridge known as "Great Ledge."
|Scenic cliffs. The "gap" is in the right center of the photo.|
The conservation land to the west is owned by Aspetuck Village (private). To the north and east is City of Shelton Public Open Space. To the south is the ongoing Huntington Woods development, and the Conservation Commission had some concerns over the years that the development might be extended into the Kassheimer property via Crab Apple Circle, and disrupt the view along the Rec Path. With this purchase, the entire Great Ledge ridge will be protected from development. (Read about the previous purchase Great Ledge Purchase).
|Kassheimer property at the bottom of the ridge|
The area is challenging but rewarding to bushwhack across. From the Rec Path, the easiest way to access the property is probably at the hair-pin turn just south of the powerlines. From this point, you can head straight towards the cliff through pepperbush. It looks swampy, but I was able to walk through without my feet getting wet. Turn left at the base of the cliff and you are entering the Kassheimer property. There is a gap between cliffs on the Kassheimer property where one can climb up to the top of the ridge. The top of the cliff is fairly open and there are game trails that are easy to walk along, and in places you can see the Rec Path through the trees.
|Impressive rock face|
|View from a gap in the cliffs|
|At the top of the cliff|
|Looking down the gap between cliffs|
You could also try your luck by climbing up the ridge from the north at the powerlines. There is lose rock and plenty of mountain laurel, but the occasional random path as well. Maybe some day there will be a trail in there, but the Trails Committee is stretched pretty thin just now.
|The Great Ledge ridge extends northeast and end at the powerlines|
Saturday, October 11, 2014
A high turnout made our annual moonlight hike a notable success this month. Our group consisted of 33 adults, one 3rd Grader, and 11 dogs of assorted breeds (this count did not include any chipmunks or black bears that may have discreetly followed).Click on photos to enlarge
|We gathered just before dark at the Real Estate Two parking lot and were pleasantly surprised at the large turnout. Many of the hikers were first-timers to any of our trail events|
|Posing for a group photo was a challenge, what with the diminishing daylight and the cheap camera|
|Terry, our cruise director, led the way along the Rec Path, through the meadow and woods to the turn-around point at the power lines. Fortunately, he also knew the way back|
|The main attraction|
|Somehow, we made it back without loosing anyone (at least no "missing persons" reports were filed!)|
|The route. The round trip, start to finish, was 3.5 miles, slightly uphill on the way out, but of course downhill on the return|
We concluded that this year's moonlight hike was a notable success, judging from the positive feedback by many of the participants. Your Trails Committee members guiding this outing were chairman Bill, Lynn, Sandie, Terry, and Richard. Check the "Hikes and Special Events" page on the left of this blog for upcoming neat stuff. And we won't turn away anyone volunteering to help us maintain these trails, either. Our work parties are listed under "Work Parties & Meetings" in the same area.
Posted by Dick Skudlarek at 9:26 AM
Friday, October 10, 2014
|The Paugussett trailhead on Buddington Road|
Here is the 25th Eagle Scout project for our trails, courtesy of Mark Sullivan: a new kiosk for the Paugussett Trail on Buddington Road. That trailhead has been difficult to find for many people, but it should be pretty easy to spot now. This location marks the southern terminus of the trail, which extends north through Shelton Lakes, Indian Well State Park, Birchbank Mountain, and Webb Mountain before heading up to an overlook of Lake Zoar, then turning south to follow Monroe's Boys Halfway River down to East Village Road. The total journey is about 13 miles. Here's the trailhead location on Google Maps.
Mark also somehow managed to breakup a pile of solidified road millings and spread it around the parking area. We aren't sure how this was accomplished, because the pile was like a rock, having partly melted in the hot sun.
|Installing the kiosk roof|
Unlike our other kiosks, the contents will be determined by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association (CFPA), who manages the Connecticut Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System. The Paugussett extension/restoration project completed by city volunteers was accepted by CFPA just last year, and now shows up on CFPA interactive trail map.
We especially like the routered sign placed across the top of the kiosk with the name of the trail. Nice job!
|Routered sign at the top|
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Shelton Day 2014
It turned out to be a pleasant day for a street fair, and the Shelton Trails Committee was ready with our handouts, trails-wise attendants, Pedro the Jackalope, and a Piñata raffle.
Click on photos to enlarge
|Lynn, Terry, Jim, and Bill await the throngs. We started early!|
New for us this year was a raffle. The butterfly pictured was filled with almost 7 lbs. of candy! For the record, the lucky winner was Sue
Pedro, our resident jackalope, was a hit with the kids and curious adults
Lynn's mini-pooches were on hand to provide cuddling practice for many of the kids that passed by. Lynn also provided rub-on tattoos for the children
Sheri answered questions and provided directions to the many people that stopped by
Bill and Richard take their turns minding the store
We had a great time, met and hopefully assisted lots of folks, and added an impressive number of names to our list of those interested in our activities and work parties.
Posted by Dick Skudlarek at 11:15 AM
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
A few years back, an anonymous party left a nice bench at the Rec Path parking area On Constitution Blvd. Your Trails Committee decided to place it next to the bridge overlooking the Silent Waters reservoir, where it provided a place to relax with a great view. It was enjoyed by many, but trusting as we were, we did not secure it. Vandals eventually decided it would be fun to deprive the public of a rest area and tossed it over the bridge. Fortunately, it landed in some heavy brush below, and we were able to retrieve it and keep it from harms way until it could be replaced.
Last Saturday we were able to restore and secure the bench. Hopefully, folks will get to relax and enjoy the scenic view and the goons will stay away. If you should see anyone tampering with this or any other trail items, please notify the police.Click on photos to enlarge
|Trails Committee members Jim, Terry, and Richard position the bench.|
|Rich digs one of the holes for the bench leg bases.|
|Rocks! Official New England crop! Terry helps open the hole.|
|Jim aligns the steel bar that will anchor the bench in concrete.|
|Terry adds water to the cement mix.|
|The bench is restored and ready for the next weary hiker!|
Posted by Dick Skudlarek at 9:46 AM
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Shelton has a new access trail in the White Hills, courtesy of Luke Claire from Boy Scout Troop 27 as part of the Eagle Scout program. Although the property is small -- only 4.5 acres -- and the trail is only 500 feet long, it leads to a scenic pond that was previously inaccessible to the general public.
The open space has plenty of frontage along both Pine Tree Hill Road and Beech Tree Hill Road, but it's nearly impossible to walk through the dense vegetation in many places, especially along Pine Tree Hill Road. The new trail begins on Beech Tree Hill Road, between houses #36 and #40.
The footing was rather rough, so a thick layer of wood chips was spread across the trail.