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Al's Trail Tour At Rocky Glen--Celebrate Newtown Open Space On Saturday



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Al’s Trail Tour At Rocky Glen––

Celebrate Newtown Open Space On Saturday

By Dottie Evans

The best kind of open house doesn’t need walls or a roof.

Newtown’s Open Space Task Force is holding a Tercentennial Celebration of Al’s Trail and Open Space Open House on Saturday, September 3, to celebrate the town’s pristine preserves and wildlife habitats.

In particular, members of the Task Force including Chairman Joe Hovious, Vice President Pat Barkman, Secretary Sallie O’Neil, Marj Cramer, Mark Lurie, Caraleigh Wilson, and Martha Wright, invite residents to walk the Rocky Glen section of Al’s Trail, enjoy refreshments, talk with environmental experts who will be acting as guides, and participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 am at the Dayton Street trail head.

“We’re planning two hikes. One will be easy, and one is for the mountain goats among us,” said Ms O’Neil.

She described the easier hike as “meandering” around the White Loop Trail, which is a lower spur of the Rocky Glen section of the ten-mile hiking trail through town that affords historic views of the Fabric Fire Hose mill pond and the stone foundations of Costello’s Opera House constructed in 1894.

The more demanding hike will involve an uphill climb through woods and over streams to a dramatic overlook above the Pootatuck River and Black Bridge.

First Selectman Herb Rosenthal is expected to lead the ribbon-cutting ceremony that officially opens the trail, and David Goodrich, former Newtown resident and son of the late trail blazer Al Goodrich, will also be attending.

Refreshments will be served near the kiosk constructed by Newtown High School senior and Eagle Scout Dan Tichon. Children accompanied by adults are welcome, and dogs must be leashed.

Meet at Rocky Glen State Park nearby the Dayton Street Bridge in Sandy Hook. Park at the United Methodist Church across Church Hill Road, and walk down Dayton Street to the bridge at the trail head.

Schedule: Saturday, September 3, at 10 am, refreshments; 10:15 am bird walk with biologist Leon Barkman; 11 am, ribbon-cutting ceremony to open Al’s Trail with thanks to the Iroquois Natural Gas LPEP Grant; 11:30 am, talk with naturalist/arborist Rob Sibley; noon, History Hike with option to continue on (12:30 pm) White Loop Trail and further Yellow Trail for those who want to climb to the vista point. Rain date is Sunday, from 1 to 4 pm.

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