Norwalk-Redding-Danbury Trail Project Inches Along

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DANBURY, Conn. – A proposal to construct a scenic recreational trail linking Norwalk to Danbury — through Wilton, Redding and Ridgefield — continues to move along, though organizers say the project remains years away from completion.

The proposed Norwalk River Valley Trail will wind 38 miles from Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk to Rogers Park in Danbury, encompassing some loops, several existing trails and rail spurs through the five communities.

A Google aerial view of the proposed trail was recently posted on YouTube by John Monroe of the National Parks Service, and it can be viewed above.

The video is not the exact route, but it gives viewers a sense of how it could wind its way through the lush forestry in the towns, said Patricia Sesto, chairman of the project.

“The flyover video gives you a sense of the topography and the landscape,” she said.

In the Danbury portion, the trail may use some existing trails in Tarrywile Park. But the park authority and the steering committee will conduct extensive conversations before any decisions are made, said Kathy Miville, a member of the project’s Danbury steering committee.

The Danbury steering committee is looking for volunteers to begin drumming up support for the project.

“A lot of work needs to be done with various outreach committees,” Miville said.

Earlier this month, representatives from the project met with residents in Wilton, Ridgefield and Redding and heard concerns from homeowners, particularly on Dumplin Hill Road, who object to the proposed trail cutting through its neighborhood.

The organizers heard the concerns and will continue discussions, Sesto said. Another public hearing is scheduled for the Community Room of Norwalk City Hall at 6 p.m. Oct 9. A third public hearing will be held in Danbury in late October.

“There will be perfect sections and not-so-perfect sections of these trails,” she said. “Where it’s not on public land, we wholly understand that there will need to be lots of conversations before we more forward.”

One example of where the proposal expects to use publicly owned land is a section in south Danbury near Starrs Plain Road on property owned by the state Department of Transportation, Sesto said. DOT and the project’s organizers will work together to design the trails through that section.

For more information or to volunteer for the Norwalk River Valley Trail project, visit the website or email volunteer@nrvt-trail.com.

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