Goe Decke It!
Canton Land Conservation Trust
In March of 2021 my younger son Calvin was nine. I have no idea how long he’ll keep playing soccer and at what level, but for the time being, he’s quite good. Exceptional even. And I’ll admit, I love watching his games which take up a lot of my weekend time. (And if he continues on his trajectory… my CTMQ’ing will begin to really suffer. Oh well.)
To become good at anything, one needs to train. During the pandemic times, we sought out every training possible no matter where it was. Fortunately, most were close… like in Canton. This is how I found myself at the somewhat hidden trailhead on West Road ready to hike the Canton Land Conservation Trust’s Goedecke-Humphrey property.
The trails here form a lollipop loop above and along Cherry Brook. If you read my hiking pages, you perhaps know of my affinity for this deceptively rugged part of the state (North Canton & West Simsbury) mostly because it’s so close to my house yet feels so far. I just love it.
All told, the out and back is about a mile of hiking including a short little uphill trek. The main trail is blazed orange and there is a blue-blazed side trail and a little spur along the brook at one point. I meant to hike this property quickly – but wound up taking my time.
It’s lovely. Every time I find myself near Cherry Brook I become more enamored with Cherry Brook. It’s a true mountain stream – despite the lack of true mountains and the fact it’s labeled a brook. For whatever ancient geological reason, the rivers and streams (and brooks) around here have cut surprisingly deep channels into towering steep walls of rock and pine. The thick stands of laurel here only add to the remote feel of the place.
And I say that even though the first (and last) several hundred yards of this trail passes next to a large back yard with large, loud dogs that make their presence known. Once beyond them, the woods were all mine. I wondered about the unique name of the place… Goedecke sounds very geologic to me, but I figured it had to be someone’s name. I was right: Jane Goedecke was born in 1921 in New Jersey and had lived in Canton for 48 years. From her obituary:
She was a graduate of the New Jersey College for Women and was employed for many years as the librarian at Canton High School and later founded the library at the Canton Historical Museum. A longtime member of the Appalachian Mountain Club, Jane loved hiking, tennis, skiing, gardening and playing the piano.
And now her name graces a beautiful property in the town she gave so much to. (I have no idea about Humphrey. I checked a bunch of potential candidates through recent Humphrey obituaries and while several could qualify, I couldn’t choose… so take a moment for all the deceased Humphrey Cantonites.)
In fact, take this hike and when you reach that point high above Cherry Brook before the 180-degree switchback down to the stream and then take the moment to thank the Jane Goedeckes and Unknown Humphreys of the world.
See comments below – there were and are a bunch of worthwhile Humphreys!
This property is accessible, easy and fun to hike, and amazingly provides a decent amount of different terrain. Goe(decke) for it!
Canton Land Conservation Trust
CTMQ’s CLCT Trails
Marianne Burbank saysJune 3, 2021 at 9:02 pm
The main property here is/was Humphrey Land! All the land by the beautiful Brook and up to the top belonged to my grandfather, Harold W. Humphrey, owner of the ORIGINAL Cherry Book Dairy Farm/ Christmas Tree Farm in Canton Center where my father, Lt. Col. Samuel S. Humphrey and siblings grew up. This piece of property was not contiguous with the rest of the farm. My family helped found the town and the Canton Center Church. My grandfather worked in the front offices of the Collins Co. before taking over the farm from my great grandfather. Grandpa was also a member of the CT legislature. My father was a WWII Navigator and later became First Selectman and then Chairman of the Board of Finance in Canton and Chairman of the Canton Center Historic District Commission which he helped found. My brothers and I are still active in town. That is just a small picture of who the Humphreys are!
I am glad you enjoyed my family’s gift to the Land Trust!