Norwalk River Valley Trail Events Planned For Saturday In Wilton, Norwalk

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Events to mark National Trails Day and Connecticut Trails Day weekend are planned Saturday in Norwalk and Wilton.
Events to mark National Trails Day and Connecticut Trails Day weekend are planned Saturday in Norwalk and Wilton. Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. --The Norwalk River Valley Trail will mark National Trails Day and Connecticut Trails Day Weekend with two events on Saturday, June 7.

In Norwalk, volunteers will lead a hike along the Norwalk River on existing and proposed NRVT sections. In Wilton, trail supporters are invited to clear brush between Raymond Lane and Sharp Hill Road in preparation for the imminent start of construction on the second section of the “Wilton Loop."

The first section of the Loop, running from Route 7 up to Raymond Lane, was officially opened on April 26. The first section also serves as the NRVT “demo trail” for all five towns involved in the project.

The NRVT project aims eventually to build 38 miles of multi-purpose trail connecting Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk to Rogers Park in Danbury, passing through Wilton, Ridgefield, and Redding on the way.


  • NORWALK HIKE, Saturday, June 7, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m: A moderate-level hike on both improved and unimproved NRVT through urban woodlands along the Norwalk River from Mathews Park to Deering Pond (3 miles). Participants will gain firsthand experience of an existing portion of the NRVT and walk Norwalk’s top priority for new trail. Wear long pants, long sleeves and sturdy shoes. Meet leader Jim Carter at the kiosk near the parking lot of Mathews Park and Lockwood Matthews Mansion (295 West Ave.). Rain cancels. Questions: Call Jim Carter at 203-682-3000.
  • WILTON TRAIL-CLEARING: Saturday, June 7, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m; the work will involve hauling cut brush, pole-sawing, leaf-blowing, and weed-wrenching. Tools will be provided, but volunteers may also bring their own. Volunteers should wear long pants and long sleeves, sturdy shoes, and bring work gloves. Water provided. Meet at Autumn Ridge Road off Sharp Hill Road at 9 a.m. It is a small neighborhood road, so carpooling is appreciated. Questions: Email Patricia Sesto at or call 203-563-0180.

Rob McWilliams is an avid hiker who lives in Fairfield County. His hiking blog is online.

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Comments (4)


Your statistics are totally one-sided and do not bring up any facts about the decreased property values of neighboring properties or hindered rights and increased responsibilities of private land owners in the vicinity of these trails. Anyone can make up these numbers and make any story look great even if in reality, it is a horrible idea. Sorry but the promise of "MILLIONS" of dollars is pure hyperbole in an area with a plethora of trails already and just shows how poorly thought out and absurd this entire project is.

There are usually two major concerns expressed at public meetings about bicycling trails. One is the reduction in property values. The one ttam3d0 missed is the increase in crime.

As early as the 1990s, reduction in property value concerns were raised and considered. Here is a link that summarizes studies from the 1990s from different parts of the USA. As you will see, the reduction in property values did not happen. I

Here is a 2011 academic study from two University of Cincinnati academics discussing a 12 mile Cincinnati trail that demonstrated positive property value results. I just picked out one from my Google search. The reader can look for MANY others. . I just like this one since it goes right through a big city where property values can fluctuate and crime can be high.

Finally, if you perform a Google search for information that searches for increased crime and property value reduction as it relates to the introduction of trails, you will be hard pressed to find any information that suggests its a negative situation.

Bottom line, if you live near a proposed trail, you should be doing all you can to make it happen. Expect property values to increase and crime to go down.

The woman in charge of this program, Pat Sesto, is a member of ICLEI and does NOT work with your town's best interests in mind.

ICLEI is a United Nations-sponsored group which designs and writes policy
for your area on land use, energy goals and measurement, and water usage.
ICLEI is a paid consultant and/or receives dues from your taxes.
ICLEI was formed after the United States (George Bush, Sr.)
and 178 other nations met at the United Nations
Rio Earth Summit in 1992 and agreed to use certain principles as their guidelines. Those guidelines include major reductions in energy and water usage, and huge increases in the number of
living units in city centers. This is called UN Agenda 21-Sustainable Development.
In 1993 President Clinton formed the President’s Council on Sustainable
Development and gave a multi-million dollar grant to the American
Planning Association to write Growing Smart: A Legislative Guidebook
to bring UN Agenda 21 to the United States. Smart Growth was the result.
Multi-story condos or apartments over small retail with little parking,
crammed in your town center. The reason for this style of construction is
that, as UN Secretary General Maurice Strong said, ‘the affluence of
Americans is a threat to the planet.’ Single family homes are a threat.
Across the nation, in large cities and small towns, like this one, identical
programs are being rolled out. Land use restrictions, ordinances reducing
energy usage, Smart Meters, school programs, & candidate trainings, are
designed and implemented without your vote.
You may be invited to city visioning meetings, but the outcome is decided before you enter the room. Using ICLEI greenhouse gas emissions goals, your local government is in the process of controlling where and how you live, what you eat, what your children learn, and what laws you will live under. With the cover of ‘environmental concern’ your personal rights are being restricted. Soon, you will lose the right to travel freely without being asked for your ID. Lose the right to water your garden. Lose the right to refuse a Smart Meter. Lose the right to live in a rural area. Lose the right to drive a private
vehicle. Under the guise of ‘Sustainable Development’ your property and
civil rights are being systematically eliminated.

The NRTV is a great opportunity for the residents and businesses in this area. Not only will it benefit our health, family gatherings, etc, it will add MILLIONS to our tourism revenue income. This trail will connect to NYC using the East Coast Greenway allowing thousands of bicyclists to ride along the trail each year. Don't believe or heard of bicycle tourism? Keep reading. And, if like me, you have ridden on these trails, you know there is no shortage of cyclists who bicycle tour:

"Bicycle Tourism can Generate Big Money - Based on these studies, we estimate that those who take long-distance, multi-day bicycling vacations spend between $100 and $300 per day on food, lodging, and other items, with “credit card cyclists” typically near the upper end of this range. A group of six cyclists, therefore, each spending $250 per day on, say, a seven-day trip would leave behind $10,500 along their path. If the Canalway Trail could attract 1,000 such bicycle tourist groups in a season, those visitors would contribute $10.5 million to canal community economies.
Here is some evidence from similar trails: Missouri’s Katy Trail, a 225-mile rail trail under development since 1982, draws 350,000 bicyclists per year, about a third of whom (100,000+) are tourists from outside the local area.
A 2007 economic impact study of the Great Allegheny Passage, not yet complete at the time, determined that it was generating $12.5 million in revenue annually. And the New York State Canal Corporation’s 2008 report, “Economic Impact Study of New York State Canal Tourism,” estimated that 2.4 million “day-use visitors” of all kinds use the Canalway Trail system each year. It seems likely, therefore, that the economic impact of the Erie Canalway Trail will reach, and perhaps exceed, the above figure."