Know your neighbors, know your town, empower the community.

Trails

June 22, 2023
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Trails
Sperry Falls Trail Group

Woodbridge is blessed to have much open space for the enjoyment of its residents and visitors be they human, furry, winged or other.  Within these spaces are over a dozen designated areas that contain 35+ miles of recreational trails that allow access to fields, streams, waterfalls, wetlands, historic sites, interesting geology, and spectacular views throughout the year.  Trail maps are available for free in the main hallway in Town Hall and also online at woodbridgetrails.org or https://woodbridgect.org/209/Trail-Maps.

The trails are maintained by the Woodbridge Land Trust, the Woodbridge Parks Association and the Town.  Trees and limbs fall across the path during storms or as trees die, branches and brambles encroach as they grow, and boardwalks deteriorate over time.  Keeping this vast network of trails accessible for recreational use requires an immense amount of work, most of which is performed by volunteers.

Monthly trail cleanup/maintenance events began late last year.  Notable accomplishments to date include rerouting the spur trail from Oak Hill Lane to the Fitzgerald Tract, re-establishing the White trail from Rimmon Road to the Fitzgerald Tract, clearing and reblazing the Orange trail from Cassaway Road to the Regional Water Authority trails, resetting the boardwalk on the Blue trail near Ranch Road, and clearing the trail to Sperry Falls and the nearby historic home foundation.

Bion Harrington

Trail events are usually scheduled for the second Sunday of each month from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm.  A different trail location is tackled each month.  People of all ages volunteer, including skilled woodsmen, novices, boy and girl scouts, students earning service hours, and families with children.  Everyone is able to work within their own capabilities; there is always something for everyone.  Volunteers should wear sturdy footwear and work gloves.  Leather gloves and safety glasses are recommended as some plants have thorns.  Dress for the weather, bring water, bug spray and a desire to have fun.  Useful tools to bring include pruning saws, pruners, loppers, pick or mattock, and a spade.  Thanks to the generosity of the Woodbridge Conservation Commission, a limited number of Trail Master tools will be available for use also.

At each trail event, everyone is encouraged to learn something new or teach something to others, be it pruning skills, native and invasive plant identification, bird calls or anything else.  One of the greatest impediments to enjoyment of our wonderful open space is the proliferation of invasive plants that crowd out native plants and drastically alter local ecology.  It is hard to find any trail where barberry, burning bush, bittersweet vines and multiflora rose are not taking over huge swaths of land.  All of these plants produce large amounts of fruit (berries) which are readily consumed and spread by birds, many originally from residential landscapes.  It is important to be able to identify these and other invasive plants, and to remove them from your own property.  This will help stem their proliferation into public spaces.  There are numerous native plants available to replace them that will enhance your own landscape.  If you don’t want to wait for an in-field tutorial at a monthly event, there are many resources available online.  A good place to start is the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group (cipwg.uconn.edu).

If you would like to volunteer to help maintain the trails or to report any issues with the trails, please visit http://woodbridgetrails.org/ or contact the Trail Master at trailmaster@woodbridgect.org.

Andrew Danzig has been the Woodbridge Trail Master since 2019 and is a UConn certified Advanced Master Gardener.

This is an opinion not necessarily endorsed by the Woodbridge Town News.

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