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Web Connects Norwalk Hikers to Trails

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – New England weather is unpredictable at best but on those beautiful sunny, warm days in Fairfield County it might be nice to get out into nature and take a hike in the area's trails and parks.

Hiking may be more popular than you think - there are 64 groups on Meetup.com dedicated to hiking within 25 miles of Norwalk alone. And in Wilton, the Continuing Adult Education program held a course about Geocaching , a latitude and longitude treasure hunt for all levels of hikers.

Norwalk resident Linda Sawyer has been an avid hiker for most of her life and created one of the more popular Meetup groups in the area with more than 900 members.

“I’ve been doing basically one hike every week,” Sawyer said, but with limits of around 20 to 30 people per hike. “I have hikes that I keep repeating because I happen to like them a lot. But I keep trying to find new ones and to vary it.”

But it isn’t just regular hiking that entrances people to the trails, there is a phenomenon called Geocaching, which is essentially a treasure hunt using GPS coordinates.

Recently, Wilton’s Continuing Education held a two-day course on geocaching, where the participants learned how it works and what to do before they went out and found the hidden objects and hid one of their own.

“I was shocked, the first time I did it, to find some in the area,” said Lily Edelman, who taught the Geocaching class in Wilton. “It kind of seemed like this crazy thing no one would ever do.”

The caches or treasures can be as small as a film canister or as large as a trash bin and it can be a family activity. “It’s a cool thing to do with your kids,” said Edelman, though she warns it can be addicting.

It doesn’t even have to be in the woods, Edelman said, which might be nice for the parks since the geocaching locations can be found not on regular trails.

There are parks and trails all over Connecticut and Fairfield County. Local ones are usually run by the Parks and Recreation departments. Trails.com has a list of more than 900 trails in the state - chances are, there is one near you.

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