That Soccer Field Still Gets Me…
Northern CT Land Trust (NCLT): A.K. Webster Preserve, Vernon
~0.75 miles, May 2017
Ah yes, that soccer field. I noted it several years ago while poking around Valley Falls Park. I climbed high above the Hop River Rail Trail (which also hosts a mile or so of the Shenipsit Trail here) to check the view from the cliffs.
Then I found a beautifully maintained soccer field in the woods. From the eastern side of the field, I couldn’t see any nearby civilization. I was confused and likened it to some sort of weird Field of Dreams type thing.
Flash-forward seven years and I was back. This time with Damian as witness. We drove through the Vernon neighborhoods on the western side of the field and I was shocked at how much of a hill we had to climb to get to the cul-du-sac near the ridgeline at the trailhead.
Vernon is yet another town that suffers from the “I’ve driven I-84 through it a bunch of times and I’ve seen it all” syndrome. Vernon is way, way more rural and pastoral than most people realize.
And it has mystery clifftop soccer fields in the woods to boot.
I’m not sure I’m explaining this soccer field well. I think this should do the trick:
Let me know about other soccer fields in the woods around Connecticut and I’ll do a series on them.
No I won’t. Really, I won’t.
The AK Webster property sort of encircles the soccer field and continues east over to Valley Falls Park. There are a bunch of trails that I hiked seven years ago that I wasn’t going to hike again with Damian.
So we attacked the western trails because my life wouldn’t be complete without completing every trail at the AK Webster Preserve in Vernon.
Damian, despite his profound intellectual disability, can sometimes be smarter than me. He wanted no part of this hike.
“But dude, there’s a soccer field up here. It’s in the middle of the woods! You have never seen such a thing before! It’s incredible.”
After some grunts and refusals, up the trail we trudged.
We gazed upon the field and headed up the hill. We both puzzled over the car rims stuck on poles throughout the property. I can’t even make up a reason for these things, but we saw at least a dozen.
We bumbled around a while and then headed back towards the car. We passed a rocky area that probably provides decent seasonal views of the town. As it was, I could see a white church spire but not much else.
You could actually make a day of this area. Bring some swim trunks, hike down to Valley Falls Park, go for a dip, go to the Valley Falls Farm Heritage Center, hike around Valley Falls some more and back up through the AK Webster Preserve and to your car.
If you do that, I’ll give you a prize. Weirdo.