WILTON, Conn. -- The ribbon was cut at 9:26 a.m. on Saturday to open officially the Norwalk River Valley Trail “demonstration section,” and Mother Nature called off her rain just in time.
The trail runs a half-mile from near Wilton’s Orem’s Diner up to Raymond Lane.
The ribbon-cutting was accomplished collectively by state Sen. Toni Boucher; state Rep. Gail Lavielle; Mayor Harry Rilling of Norwalk; Wilton First Selectman Bill Brennan; Redding Selectman Leon Karvelis; Wilton’s Director of Environmental Affairs Patricia Sesto; and NRVT benefactors Betsy and Jesse Fink and Greg Jansen.
“It’s way more than a trail,” Fink said in his opening remarks. As people use it to walk the dog, take a bike ride or get the kids outdoors for a while, the NRVT will bring the Wilton community together, he said. And as it extends north and south, it will bring the NRVT communities closer together, too.
Jansen emphasized the attractions of the trail for families as it opens up hundreds of acres of “safe and serene” woods for kids in strollers, running teens, and grandma and grandpa.
Although skies remained mostly gray and the day chilly, a steady stream of visitors came out to see the trail throughout the morning. As if to confirm the speakers’ predictions, there were dog-walkers, toddlers on bikes, kids in strollers, entire families and lone runners. The volume of dogs might be put down to the “Paws on Parade” prizes offered by local business – and event sponsor – Blue Buffalo. The treasure hunt seemed popular with the kids. Winners were rewarded with an Outdoor Sports Center water bottle.
The “demo trail”, the speakers emphasized, is just a step toward completing the “Wilton Loop” and the entire NRVT. In Wilton, the next goal is to raise $150,000 at the grassroots to extend the trail this year from Raymond Lane to Sharp Hill Road. For more information, visit www.nrvt-trail.com.
Rob McWilliams is an avid hiker who lives in Fairfield County. His hiking blog is online.