East Granby Land Trust leads annual fall hike
By Merja H. Lehtinen - ReminderNews
East Granby - posted Thu., Oct. 27, 2011
The school bus was waiting in the empty high school parking lot by 9:30 a.m., on Saturday, Oct. 22, when cars drove up and morning hikers bounded out of their vehicles to introduce themselves to the trail leader, Cathy Delasco of the East Granby Land Trust.
The land trust’s annual fall hike was not as well-attended as the summer trek, where there was standing room only on the bus to the trail, but the hikers who showed up Saturday were enthusiastic and ready to climb. The plan was to cover more than 5 miles, but there was a shorter portion, where folks could stop and get back on the bus after the first 90 minutes of walking the historic Metacomet Trail.
Delasco noted that it was the last day the trail would take the same route over a small part of its stretch through a parcel of land that is part of a local outdoor rod and gun club. The Connecticut Forest and Parks Association was rerouting a part of the historical trail farther west up on the ridge to skirt the private club as of the next day. The trail is part of the federally recognized New England National Scenic Trail and passes on privately owned land throughout its length. Historical trails, however, have been time honored for passage.
Jennifer Frank, president of the East Granby Land Trust, noted that the trail the land trust hikers were walking started out in Suffield, but would end at the corner of Newgate Road and Route 20 in East Granby.
The Matacomet Trail passes through the area of the Old Newgate Prison, originally a mine, then used as an prison, and now a museum.
Herb Delasco, a land trust Board of Directors member, noted that children were missing the delight and freedom of hiking the trail. Delasco was appreciative of the privilege to hike as he is recovering from ankle surgery, and could only drive the bus.
There were people from all over the state joining the locals for the annual fall hike. East Granby Land Trust members noted that their upcoming winter hikes require snow shoes or cross-country skis.