So nearly every weekend I do this… thing. I intend to go out and explore somewhere new. I’ll be sitting at my desk in the morning, drinking my coffee, figuring out which. Once I decide, I’ll either look through my notes or start researching the location fresh. I’ll try to look up interesting features, dig into the history, and flip through any books that mention it. Just to get a sense of where I’m headed.
But here’s the catch.
Oftentimes a single property will only have a couple miles of trails. If I’m traveling a distance, I want to make the trip “worth my while” so I’ll chain together a few interesting places nearby. Or, if it’s a big state park the maze of trails requires sifting through a ton of information to figure out the best spots.
The next step is usually that, if I’m hitting these places, I might as well make a movie! So I start putting together some interesting talking points, take a whole sheet of notes, and before I know it… I’ve run out of time to complete the whole trip.
So I shelve the big plan for another day and head out for a great local hike.
This past month has been one of the busiest of the year. Though once again its been all eastern Connecticut. The highlights:I explored the ninja warrior course at Giddings Park. Ran to the Native American flute hunting outpost in Mohegan State Forest. Created the only trail map online for Bishop Swamp WMA. Explored a few forgotten parks in Brooklyn including the worst hike I’ve ever been on. Wandered the Audobon’s Bafflin Sanctuary. Caught portions of the Nehantic and Shenipsit blue blaze trails. Took in the meteor, clear waters, and overlooks of a few Tolland town parks. Sought out Wyllys Falls as well as the trio of falls in the Sprague Land Preserve. Phew!
Hopeville Pond in Griswold, CT
I went out for a plant identification walk with a friend in the Bradley Buchanan Woods in Mansfield. He’s a current professor and former field botanist who gave me a some broad guidelines for identification and pointed out a few dozen common plants. I’ll have done well if I retained a quarter of it and am more comfortable identifying, or at least guessing, on a handful of plants. Our walk lasted over an hour tasting berries, puzzling over fungi, and fast-fire IDing trees.
19 new locations have been added and I was able to update another dozen or so. I’m still refining (but not yet creating) the “Where to Start” page. What started as a kind of decision tree has morphed into different ways to view and sort places based on everyone’s different ‘whys’ and ‘wheres’. Also, while I started this site as an outlet/record for the work I was already doing, I’d like to push it towards becoming a community. One where this site is as beneficial to me as it is to you. So thank you for reading and send an email to the address at the bottom of the page if you have any thoughts/ideas.
Until next time,