Sunday, September 20, 2009

The First CT Trail: Mile One

Quinnipiac Trail is the oldest of CFPA's "Blue-Blazed Trails," having been built by Edgar Heermance and adopted by CFPA in 1929. The trail is 24 miles in length, starting improbably behind a Wilbur Cross rest area in North Haven (actually Quinnipiac River State Park) and ending in Cheshire. Along the way it passes through Sleeping Giant State Park.

The first few miles are tragically overgrown and hard to follow, but I was looking for something said to be a mile down the trail, so I brought my pruners and cleared the trail a bit as I progressed. The path runs along the shoreline of the Quinnipiac River, and the sound of the Parkway is always present, though easy to ignore after awhile. Unique along this part of the trail are the old foundations and random fences of about 40 abandoned homes, which the state purchased due to frequent flooding.

Here are some Phlox, which are native to Connecticut, but I rarely see them growing wild because the deer love them so.

The tall yellow daisy-like flowers along the side of the road this time of year is the Jerusalem Artichoke, another native species that is used as a garden plant, as well as a food source. The roots are what is eaten. This one was growing near the beginning of the trail.

The path had one of the largest patches of Japanese Knotweed I've ever seen, which had overtaken the trail. After a bit of cutting, the path was a tunnel through the knotweed. Next year it will just grow right back, however.

No comments: