Canton Land Conservation Trust
This page exists for historical reasons. “The Arnold Preserve” is more or less part of the CCLT’s Onion Mountain complex of trails… or part of the Roaring Brook Nature Center’s trail network. But I wrote this back when I was just learning about land trusts and such.
So here it is – my page about hiking through a CLCT property that I did not hike through at all – this trail is simply part of the Roaring Brook Nature Center trail system, which you can read about in full here.
In case you’re new to me – and in that case, Hi! I’m Steve – I’m a bit of a weirdo. At least in the sense of organization and lists. I’m sort of obsessed with them and take great pride in the relative accuracy of the lists on this website.
(Yes, I note the irony of the above.)
I even find it fun and relaxing to make a new list or to check through and/or update an old list. If you have a problem with that, send me an email. I’ll set you straight…
With a series of lists explaining how and why I’m fine.
Sweat beaded on my brow. My heart began beating with rapidity. Canton AND Simsbury?! Whatever am I going to do on the website?
The entire trail lies in Canton. The kiosk at the trailhead was put there by the Canton folks. So this place is totally going to go into my Canton Land Conservation Trust section.
I hiked the orange-blazed loop trail in about 10 minutes. It goes down to a stream called Finnegan’s Brook, crosses it, climbs up the other side of the little hill, contours along it a bit, descends back to the brook and then back up to the kiosk area. I was somewhat interested in the maple sapling grove and wonder why deer haven’t eaten them all up. Here’s proof of that:
I should note that if you find yourself humping around this little loop, cross the street and hike around the nature center’s trails, as there is some really cool stuff over there like an old quarry and a nice babbling brook walk.
As I was saying, the trail took me back up to the conflicting sign. Even though I knew I was in Canton, something in my brain was bothering me. Having read through of all Simsbury’s literature, I was certain they reference the Arnold Tract somewhere. And at the same time, I was also certain the CLCT did not.
This haunted me all the way home.
Once there, I rushed in the door and started poking around online. And I was right! Aha! But I didn’t want to be right – for that just left me confused again. I sat on it for a day.
Then I decided to get an answer. Is this 5-minute trail (though to be fair, it had numbered posts along the way that correspond to educational stuff in an unseen trail guide that surely makes the experience longer and richer) part of my CLCT or SLT section on CTMQ?
I wrote my friend Amy over at the SLT. And being the kind and understanding woman that she is, she didn’t question my sanity but rather just answered my question:
Both — It is owned by the Canton Land Trust, but we have an easement on it, so we list it as well. We contributed to the purchase. So technically, both is correct.
If you need a definitive answer from us, I would put on CLCT page, and note that SLT holds an easement.
Furthermore, the sign at the trailhead explains:
The Arnold Property was acquired by the CLCT in 2005 from J. Herbert Arnold’s living trust. Funding was provided by the Open Space Fund of the State of Connecticut acting through… blah blah blah… The property lies on the eastern side of Onion Mountain and is bordered by steep terrain making access difficult. The land may be accessed through other land owned by the CLCT or through the town of Simsbury’s Onion Mountain Park. Due to the sensitive nature of its ecology, there are no hiking trails on the property.
By the way, here’s my hike through Onion Mountain Park up north. And here’s my 2022 page on the the CLCT’s Onion Mountain trail.
And that, my friends, is how I was introduced to the Canton Land Conservation Trust trails… via a trail that is signed for the land trust, but isn’t actually on land trust land. I’m going to go have a drink now.