Hikers invited to new Roxbury loop

The Roxbury Land Trust invites hikers and outdoor enthusiasts to celebrate the opening of a1.6-mile loop at its River Road Preserve Sept. 14 at 10 a.m.

Overall, the hike will be roughly 2.5 miles of moderate walking with some challenging sections.

Hikers should meet in the River Road Preserve parking area on River Road in Roxbury, wear appropriate footwear and bring a bottle of water.

In addition to the loop, the white-blazed trail connects existing trails and is part of a newly acquired 37.4-acre parcel expanding the River Road Preserve so that it links to RLT’s three nearby properties: Orzech, Golden Harvest and Erbacher Preserves.

The trail near the Shepaug River is made possible by the generosity of Joan M. McMahan and Ruth Johnson, whose estates provided funds to RLT exclusively for land acquisition.

The new trail represents the strong partnership among several Litchfield County organizations.

Funded by a grant from the Connecticut Community Foundation, the Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition (PRWC) created a summer Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program that provided the much-needed and valuable labor force for the trail work at the Roxbury Land Trust.

Led by RLT’s Land and Property Manager James Curren and the 2019 Dr. Marc J. Taylor Intern and YCC Crew Leader Amanda Keilty of Bethlehem, the YCC crew included Aidan Essig of Southbury, Dillon Larkin of Newtown, Bethany Brown of Oakville, Jonathan Robert of Morris, and Jeremy Larkin of Newtown.

Over a week in July, the PRWC’s summer Youth Conservation Corps created the new trail with RLT’s Curren and interns Matthew Marchese and Henry Roush, clearing and cutting brush, moving rocks and boulders, and overall making a safe and scenic walking path for the public.

“By working together with PRWC and the Youth Conservation Corps, we’ve all made a terrific connection which highlights the importance of “greenways” or connectivity for wildlife and people,” said RLT Executive Director Ann Astarita.

The summer PRWC/YCC program provides environmental opportunities for young people from various communities throughout the Pomperaug River watershed region.