Sunday, April 19, 2009

CT Blue Blazed Trails

There are over 800 miles of official CFPA "Blue-Blazed" trails in Connecticut (sometimes also called "Blue-Dot" trails), shown on this map (click to enlarge). I'm surprised how often people refer to any one of these particular trails as "the blue trail" as if it didn't have a name and was no different than any other local trail. Would you refer to the Appalachian Trail as "the white trail?" These trails date back to the 1920's and 1930's, and many were created by the stimulous package of the 1930's as CCC projects. They tend to be regional trails that span more than one town. In Shelton and Monroe we have the Paugussett Trail (pronounced Pau-GUSS-ett), which originally ran from the Lake Zoar area to Roosevelt Forest in Stratford before it was cut off by the construction of Aspetuck Village and other projects. The Monroe East Village section of the Paugussett was originally part of the Pomperaug Trail, now limited to Southbury (Kettletown State Park) and Oxford.

So next time you're hiking on a blue trail, consider whether the trail is part our state Blue-Blazed system. If you're at Sleeping Giant, that's the Quinnipiac Trail. If you're hiking the trap rock ridges in central Connecticut, chances are you on the Metacomet or Mattabesett Trails. Excellent maps and descriptions of these trails are located in the Connecticut Walk Book (east and west editions) sold by CFPA through bookstores and their website. The trails are maintained by volunteers with CFPA, and when you purchase the books you are helping to support this great organization to maintain the trails.

One last note: More than half of the trail system is on private property with only a handshake agreement from the property owner. It is therefore critical that trail users stay on the trail and respect private property - no bikes, fires, camping, and no geocaches in private areas.


Whirlwind said...

We were recently introduced to the "blue trail" a few weeks ago. Then last week, while treking (boxing) through a local forest, we came to a trail head and met up with some CFTA volunteers who were clearing the trails and they told us about the blue trail and books. I'm actually planning on picking up the EAST copy of the trail book for my husband for Father's Day.

Unknown said...

I just want to point out that there IS camping allowed on certain trails in designated areas----see the Department of Environmental Protections website|