“Completing” Harwinton… Again
Harwinton Land Trust: Indian Meadow
Ah, Indian Meadow. Back in 2018 when I “completed” Harwinton, this property was my bugaboo. I knew at the time that a trail was being developed here, but since it wasn’t yet, I called the town “complete.” Of course, if you know anything about me, you know this bothered the heck out of me.
I drove past the spot on the cul-de-sac where the trailhead was to be a few times over the next two years, wondering if I could follow the soon-to-be trail to satisfy my weird “completist OCD.” But I couldn’t.
But I never forgot about the trail and about what the Harwinton Land Trust does in their little, often overlooked town. Finally, on my annual trip out to Litchfield to get our Thanksgiving turkey in 2020, I stopped by, found the nearly hidden trailhead, and re-completed Harwinton. It felt good.
The land trust has owned the 34-acre Indian Meadow property for more than 30 years, but had not developed it for public use due to difficult access issues. The access at White Oak Dr. has a steep slope and a stream crossing just down from the road. Michael’s project has made public access from White Oak Dr. safe and inviting. In 2018, he completed a bridge crossing over the stream and in summer 2019, he completed steps leading down from the road to his bridge.
And in 2020, I enjoyed his handiwork.
Down the steps, over the stream and to the trail split. The yellow trail goes straight and takes visitors on a loop through a marsh. The newer houses back on White Oak Drive are always within sight on this loop, which I must admit… is not an exciting loop. I guess this view looks a bit more lush in the late spring and summer:
But in late November, there’s really nothing to look at. Which might be a good thing, because as a newly cleared trail, there are a lot of tree nubs and stubs in the middle of your footfalls. This can be unpleasant if you step wrong.
After the loop, I regained the main white trail which is an out-and-back affair down to route 4. There are potential plans for a parking pull-out on the main road, but I’m not sure that will ever be necessary.
The trail features a bench along the way, but the whole time I was looking for a meadow… an Indian Meadow. Was the first bench looking out across a small gully at it?
I don’t know. There are several bridges along the path and the main feature is the ever-increasing traffic noise from route 4. Just as I was giving up on any sort of meadow, at the very end of the trail I found myself in one.
However, this is a “pollinator meadow” somewhat artificially (but nicely) created by the land trust. I like a good meadow walk, even if its only 30-seconds long. Hey, at least I would return back through it once I “tagged” the end of the trail.
The HLT has erected a nice sign along route 4, that I reckon one out of every 1,000 people notice as they speed down the hill towards Litchfield.
As I gazed up and down the busy road, I thought about how just a minute east of here I had my Harwinton Completion Celebration meal at the now closed Landing Zone mess of a restaurant. And, coincidentally, just a minute beyond that is the Greenhouse Cafe & Tavern, where I celebrated my completion of Burlington.
It was at that point that I realized that no one else in the history of man looks at a hill near the Harwinton/Burlington town line and has that thought. Hey, it’s my bed and I’m happily lying in it.