Bright skies and warm temperatures on Sunday helped attract about 35 people on a hike through the Shelton Land Trust’s Nicholdale Farm open space property.
The Shelton Trails Committee’s annual Marshmallow March included a halfway break with a roaring fire to toast marshmallows and sip hot chocolate.
Hikers ranged in age from toddlers to seniors, and they were joined by numerous friendly dogs. Many young families made the trek. They hiked through meadows, woodlands and marsh areas while crossing small brooks and traversing some gentle hills.
Hikers encountered some snow and muddy areas along the way, but much of the snow had melted in the previous few days, making for a pleasant experience for the participants.
The Nicholdale Farm property is on Route 110 between downtown and the Monroe border, just west of Beardsley Cider Mill and Orchard.
Families hike together
“You can’t ask for a nicer day for a hike,” said Paul Uhrynowski of Shelton, who was joined by his son Luke, 8, and daughter Laura, 7, at the event.
The Uhrynowskis also were on the winter hike last year. This year’s winter hike with toasted marshmallows was held later than usual due to two previous cancellations from snow. “The snow is down now — nothing too bad,” Uhrynowski said.
Terry Gallagher, a Trails Committee member who led the hike, told participants at the start that “elves” were in the woods preparing the fire for their halfway break. Some Trails Committee volunteers had headed out earlier to get the break site ready.
“This is an awesome turnout,” Gallagher said.
Hiking through the family farm
Bruce Nichols was on the hike, which meandered what was his grandfather Fred’s dairy farm until it was acquired by the Shelton Land Trust in the 1990s.
As a child, Nichols would spend most of his summers on the farm helping out.
His grandfather purchased more than 100 acres of farmland in 1910 for $2,500, Nichols said, explaining the farm predated the construction of Route 110 (Leavenworth Road). The state used some of the Nichols’ farmland to build the two-lane road,
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said the farm was originally purchased by Fred Nichols in 1910 for $25,000; the correct amount is $2,500. We regret the error and any confusion it may have caused.