In November 2004, Paul S. Lux, a longtime Newtown resident, sent a Letter to the Editor to The Newtown Bee containing his suggestions of the best things to do in town.
“I originally sent in the list for people in town to add on to,” Mr Lux said recently.
The list is uniquely Newtown. It includes activities and locations people may look past in the hustle and bustle of the daily routine. And they are experiences other towns simply cannot offer.
For example, Al’s Trail, a 10.7-mile-long trail that takes its adventurers through forests, fields, streams, and vineyards. The trail was established in honor of its namesake, the late Albert Goodrich, who along with his friends and acquaintances, was instrumental in its creation. It took more than five years for the trail route to be set, but hikers all agree it was worth the effort.
Al’s Trail winds through areas of Newtown most people have not yet seen. It is a trail consisting of yards, private properties, and town land, all strung together to ensure a fun experience for all ages.
With the help of residents, political figures, and local authorities, Mr Goodrich and friends were able to create a path for the people of town so they, too, can appreciate the breathtaking nature Newtown has to offer.
Below is an updated list from Mr Lux of “You Haven’t Done the Best Things in Newtown Until You...”
*Look at the David Merrill mural on the stairway walls of Edmond Town Hall and match the pictures to real places in town. Some images include the Meeting House, the Sandy Hook Center post office (now Sabrina’s Style), the Church Hill Road old train station (now Cave Comics and Burgerittoville), and of course, the flagpole.
*Walk along the shore of Lower Paugussett State Forest on Lake Zoar from the end of Great Quarter Road to the waterfall, which is also shown in Mr Merrill’s mural. Early morning has mist on the water.
*Sit on the bench on the corner of Old Castle Drive, located in Nettleton Preserve, to look at the churches and the flagpole.
*Walk down the path from the bench on the corner of Old Castle Drive to the chapel in the woods.
*Climb up the hill in the fall to the top of the park at Great Hill to see the 360-degree view of the leaves in season.
*See the lake from the house at the state park at the Kazan property on Old Mill Road. Marilyn Monroe, Martin Scorsese, Marlon Brando, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, and Arthur Miller all swam and visited Elia Kazan there. The property has more than 160 acres of trails, forests, and fields.
*Go inside all the churches and synagogues in town. Those include Adath Israel Synagogue, Bible Baptist Church, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Grace Family Fellowship, Newtown Congregational Church, Newtown Meeting House, Newtown United Methodist Church, St John’s Episcopal Church, St Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, and Trinity Episcopal Church.
*Walk across the old bridges at Dayton Street and on Black Bridge Road.
*Eat a pancake at the Rotary Club’s annual pancake breakfast at Edmond Town Hall. The breakfast is held the first Saturday each December.
*Have a sandwich on the front porch of the Newtown General Store in the sun.
*Walk the railroad bed along the river from George’s Hill Road to Currituck Road.
*Be in the Newtown Labor Day Parade. For more information visit www.newtownctlabordayparade.org.
*Swim in all town pools, beaches, and parks.
*Walk through the park at Orchard Hill and see the waterfalls.
*Feed the geese and ducks in the pond on Ram Pasture, and skate on the frozen pond in winter.
*Look at the old gravestones in the Newtown Village Cemetery. The oldest gravestone in the cemetery dates back to 1754.
*Have ice cream at all the shops. Holy Cow Ice Cream Shop, though the owners have changed, is more than 42 years old — the longest running ice cream parlor in town.
*Go to the movies at the Edmond Town Hall and count the Tiffany lights.
*Climb onto the water cisterns at the top of Fairfield Hills in winter and slide down the hill with your sled.
*Go to a nighttime Newtown High School football game.
*Walk down Zoar Road on a sunny day in the fall. Zoar Road is directly off Route 34 in Sandy Hook.
*Walk Al’s Trail from the boat launch to Fairfield Hills. Go to www.alstrail.org for more information.
*Play the organ at Newtown Meeting House.
*Fly a kite at Ram Pasture.
*Have lobster at Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Co.’s LobsterFest. The event is held annually each June.
*Fish for trout in the pools below the waterfall behind the Fabric Fire Hose building in Sandy Hook.
The list used to include “climb the interior stairs to the roof of the Trinity Church tower to look at the flag and the rooster,” but for safety reasons, Trinity Church no longer provides public access to the roof.
Reader Submitted Additions
*Attend a Newtown Friends of Music concert at Edmond Town Hall.
*Visit the Ben’s Bells Newtown studio, 17 Church Hill Road, to create Ben's Bells. Further information about the studio is available at www.bensbells.org.
If you’d like to make your own contributions to the list, e-mail email@example.com, subject line: The Best Things In Newtown. You can also comment directly under this story or under the link to this story on The Newtown Bee’s Facebook page.
This story was updated to include a reader submitted addition.