CFPA has been happy to host a small, tight knit group of nine AmeriCorps NCCC Service Members working as a trail crew on our Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails. AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time service program that places teams of young adults within a variety of communities to provide hands-on volunteer service and relief work.
This crew has been camping on the grounds of the CFPA Headquarters since mid-August, sleeping through multiple tropical storms and ever-changing variable weather. They head out bright and early every morning to complete trail work projects to ensure our Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails are well-maintained and easy to follow. A majority of the trail building projects they’ve completed are ‘relos’, slang in the trail community for relocations. Certain sections of trails were relocated in order to better represent the nature of the area, as well as to create a usable and sustainable path for hikers to enjoy.
The team assisted with two major relos on the New England Trail. The team completed a lengthy relo on the Lamentation Mountain ridgeline, where the trail hugs the Middletown/ Berlin town line. The improved trail takes the hiker off a significant stretch of Stantack Rd, a muddy woods road that has been the bane of hikers for far too long. The 47- acre property that hosts the relocation was recently acquired and protected by the Berlin Land Trust with funding from the State’s Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition (OSWA) grant. Additionally, the team put the finishing touches on a major relocation of the Mattabesett Trail on the Durham/ Madison town line in the Rockland Preserve. This relo takes hikers off of Poole Rd, another woods road that suffers from significant erosion and drainage issues.
The crew touched other parts of the trail system as well. They successfully relocated small sections of the Tunxis Trail near Route 219 in Barkhamsted, and installed a small footbridge to cross over a charming little stream. They also built 50+ feet of bog bridging on the Chatfield Trail, assisted with a relo of the Quinnipiac Trail at Brooks Rd in Hamden, and helped recover and reset bridges that were washed out by recent hurricanes.
Working full-time out in the field and also living camp-style has been a unique challenge for the AmeriCorps team, but they’ve become a close family of workers who support each other in all that they do. CFPA is incredibly grateful for their service, their hard work and their commitment to conservation and trails. We wish them the best as they continue their year of service with the AmeriCorps NCCC program!
-Our online interactive trails map will be updated shortly to reflect these new relos-