Signs enable walkers to better gauge their routes

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Thu., Jul. 28, 2011
The signs map some recommended walking routes near the town center, but also allow walkers to design their own routes. Photo by Steve Smith.
The signs map some recommended walking routes near the town center, but also allow walkers to design their own routes. Photo by Steve Smith.

Walking enthusiasts now have an easier guide to trails and loops near Glastonbury's Center.

Large signs have been posted in strategic locations, including Fountain and Hubbard Greens, and the trailhead behind town hall, that indicate convenient walking paths along trails and roadways and include the total distance of each route, as well as incremental distances between select points. The routes also have names that relate to their difficulty level.

Beginners can start with “the stroll,” which is a .67-mile path around the athletic fields in Riverfront Park. “The stride” follows the loop along the western section of Welles Street and along Naubuc and Main Streets, and is just over a mile long.

More-adventurous hikers can tackle “the stretch,” which, starting at the Fountain Green, takes a clockwise path down Hebron Avenue to New London Turnpike, down to Hubbard Street, and back up Main Street, for a 3.38-mile loop.

There is also a short .4-mile hike around Hubbard Green, known as “silver sneakers,” and the gravel multi-use trail from Town Hall through Riverfront Park and back to Main Street is also on the map.

Town Councilman Tim Coon said he noticed the Hubbard Green sign while out for a run. “It's quite nice,” Coon said, adding that one of the routes could have been named after his typical running tour – the “really slow, feel like I'm gonna die” route.

“They're very well done,” Coon said. “They're a really nice improvement. They're centered around town and there are many different ways to go, and mentioning some routes that people wouldn't normally think about for taking a stroll around town.”

Town Manager Richard Johnson said a total of four signs are in the process of being put up.

“I think they are very well done,” Johnson said.

Parks and Recreation Director Ray Purtell said the signs were created by Assistant Town Engineer Stephen Braun and town CAD Designer Sylvina Rollins, with input from himself.

“What we tried to do, intuitively knowing the town, is to incorporate the focal points in the walking routes people already use,” Purtell said. “There are a lot of shops and restaurants – the library is there, and the center green. The key is that the signs allow people to create their own route and use the distance references on the map to know how far they are walking.”

Roads between the routes also have measurements listed on the map.

“If you take a shortcut, and you want to know if it's longer or shorter, there are black arrows [marking points] and the measurements in tenths of a mile,” Purtell said.

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