Kent hikes to explore iron industry

The Kent Historical Society will offer hikes July 26 and Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. to explore the history of the iron industry within the town.

Interested parties are asked to meet July 26 at the Eric Sloane Museum, 31 Kent-Cornwall Road (Route 7), to walk the trail created by Connecticut's Office of Culture and Tourism and the Connecticut Antique Machinery Association.

It is highlighted with a number of pictorial markers that explain special sites on the property.

Marge Smith, Kent Historical Society executive director, will share her knowledge of the site and explain how iron was created by pointing out the different areas, such as where the dam, water wheel and race were and remnants can still be seen today.

The trail is less than one-quarter mile and is easy to navigate for the less-than-one-hour tour.

Hikers are invited to gather Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. at the entrance of Macedonia Brook State Park, near the intersection of Fuller Mountain Road and Macedonia Brook Road, to explore the ruins of the Macedonia Furnace and Forge.

Attendees will then drive to the north end of the park, and park at the intersection of Macedonia Brook, Keeler and Weber roads, where they will follow the Orange Trail to explore some of the charcoal mounds in the area that date back over 100 years.

The hike is about 1.5 miles round trip and has some slightly short but steep sections.

The tour will be between one and a half to two hours.

Participants both days will be invited back to the society's Seven Hearths Museum at the corner of Studio Hill Road and Route 7, where an exhibit focuses on the iron industry.

Seven Hearths is open to the public on weekends through September from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For reservations, email

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