The butt slide! That's how many hikers refer to the southern descent from Chauncey Peak on the Mattabesett Trail, part of the New England National Scenic Trail (NET). Some have likened it to walking on marbles, others have called it "the flume". However you think of it, the gullied-out trail section, with an incredibly steep grade (over 35%), is far from ideal and certainly doesn't meet current trail design standards.
It has long been CFPA's vision to relocate the trail along more gentle grades to ascend and descend the mountain in a more dignified and sustainable manner. Thanks to recent funding from Department of Energy & Environmental Protection's (DEEP) Recreational Trails & Greenways Program, CFPA is finally able to commit the necessary resources to get the project off the ground.
The goal is not to make the trail easier to hike (the climb will still be a challenge) but to make the trail grades more reasonable, to prevent soil loss, to reduce maintenance, and to ultimately create a trail bed with adequate footing that can sustain hiker traffic for years (aka no more butt-sliding!).
This October, CFPA contracted with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to bring in a crack team of young trail builders to help with some of the most technical work on the steep mountainside. The crew spent a month on-site setting stone steps, building retaining walls, constructing new trail and taking a big bite out of this enormous trail improvement project.
Additionally, CFPA's very own "Rock Stars" spent two days improving and relocating the trail entrance at Giuffrida Park. Public and corporate workparties have also helped with this major relocation. The overall project cost more than $25,000.
None of this would have been possible without the partnership of the landowners, the City of Meriden and York Hill Trap Rock Quarry. Both partners have been incredibly supportive and York Hill recently signed a trail license agreement with CFPA demonstrating their commitment to the trail. We thank them for hosting the trail on their property and allowing the public to enjoy and ascend to the incredible Chauncey Peak- an iconic destination in any season, but particularly with the fall colors on such dynamic display!
You can still butt slide for a little while longer if you wish, but CFPA hopes to fully open the new improved trail
later this Fall- NOW OPEN!