There were many major and memorable happenings in 1929 here in the United States. The notorious stock market crash of that year brought an abrupt end to a decade celebrated as the Roaring Twenties. Herbert Hoover was walking the halls of White House as our 31st President. In the arts, the Museum of Modern Art opened in New York City and the first Academy Awards were held in Los Angeles. Also, Popeye the Sailor made his first appearance in the comic strips. In conservation news, Canada and the US signed an agreement protecting Niagara Falls. For the Nutmeg State, the single most important thing that happened (in our opinion!) was in New Haven. It was the first meeting of the CFPA Trails Committee and the year the first Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails were designated!
It was just after Christmas, on Dec 27, 1929, that nine trail visionaries sat down at the Graduate Club in New Haven and officiated the first CFPA Trails Committee meeting. We know the meeting was 2 hours and 45 minutes long. We know they appointed Edgar Heermance of Hamden as the Trails Committee Chairman. It’s recorded that they decided to focus on four regions in the state (New Haven, Hartford, Waterbury & Watertown/Litchfield) and the Mattatuck, Tunxis and New Haven trails were identified immediately as the major “trunk line trails” because they were “all up on the high land”. At that first meeting, interestingly, they initially called the Quinnipiac Trail “Trail 1”.
We know quite a bit now about the groundwork these trail visionaries laid in the State of Connecticut. What they didn’t know at the time, although they may have secretly hoped for, was that so many people would come to use, enjoy, and steward this great, and now expansive, trail system 90 years later.
This year we want to take the opportunity to celebrate our organization’s grassy roots and dirty boots. We want to share the opportunity that these trails offer for exploration, self-reflection, adventure, exercise, service and inspiration. We want all of Connecticut to know that 90 years is a long time, literally a lifetime, of stewardship and commitment to the trail system. And with your help and support, we look forward to saying happy birthday to the blue trails on their 100th anniversary ten years from now.
2019 is year of the Happy Birthday Blue Trails. Go for a hike, send us a picture for our online gallery, share an inspiration and share the trail love. We plan to celebrate with all of you this year- stay tuned for party details!