On a hot spring day along bright spring leaves and worn dirt paths, 16 hikers and one small but determined terrier set off to explore.
The hike was hosted by the Shelton Trails Committee at the Paugussett Trail on June 4 to celebrate American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day. In addition to beginning their own 2016 Shelton Trails Challenge.
The marathon will feature 26.2 miles of hiking along 13 of the city’s trails. Any of the paths can completed by the challenge’s deadline on Nov. 27.
“We got over 15 miles of publicly owned trail in town, some of them are very easy [and] some are more demanding walks but they are all doable of all ages and abilities,” said Shelton Trails Committee member Terry Gallagher. “That is why we are having Shelton Trails Marathon just to encourage people to get out and explore their neighborhood open space.”
One of the Trails Committee’s newer members Bob Wood was excited to start off the Paugussett Trail which leads along Birchbank and Indian Wells. Several of the members said that this portion of the marathon would be the most challenging.
“I’ve hiked this area before and Indian Wells is my favorite place,” said Wood.
He aims to complete the 26.2 miles of the combined trails over the course of the challenge.
People looking to partake in the challenge can find a form on the Shelton Trails Committee website, it includes information on all the trails including their distance. The longest trail is the Shelton Lakes Recreation Path at four miles.
“Up to four people can be on one form and when you complete a hike you just put the date in,” said chairman of the Shelton Trails Committee Bill Dyer. “So it’s all on the honors system.It’s not a race it’s a challenge, there is no speed required.”
The Trails Committee will lead guided hikes along six of the trails.
Those who complete the 13 trails will be awarded a medal for their participation.
“Many of the Shelton residents know of one or two or three trails but don’t know of all the ones that we have,” Dyer said. “So the idea is to introduce a lot of people who already enjoy some trails to some of the other ones that they probably haven’t seen.”
For more information visit http://sheltontrailscom.blogspot.com/