There is a View of a Meadow
Harwinton Land Trust: Meadowview
May 6, 2018
I’m going to do a rare thing here in Harwinton. I hiked all seven currently trailed properties on one (rainy) morning, so I’m going to sort of serialize the write-ups. If for some reason you want to start at the beginning, go here, to the Kalmia Sanctuary down the road.
Meadowview is one of those local land trust trails that begins and ends next to a house on a nice suburban cul-de-sac. I can’t begin to count how many colonial-style houses around the state I’ve parked in front of in order to walk a little loop trail.
I dedicate this page to you, cul-de-sac colonial-style homeowners of Connecticut with short land trust trails beginning and/or ending next to your property. May every Subaru that parks in front of your houses be respectful of your property.
Someone had provided a whole bunch of walking sticks at the entry sign to the property. How very kind. The trail is almost completely flat, well-cleared, and rather short. A tiny spur trail gave me my first view of the marsh and meadow. I shall now share that with you:
Back to the main trail and a straight shot down some planked walks that took me deeper into the meadow and down to the pond.
Around the pond and I came upon a choice! I like choices. Go ahead. Guess which way I went:
I went to the right! I should note that these boards seem to have some substance/treatment on them that makes them less slippery when wet than I usually encounter. I appreciated that very much in the rain.
Off to the right I went, up and over a rocky knoll for a view of the meadow and pond. Yes, once again the trail planners found the one hump on the property and took a trail over it. Tradition: I love it.
Another little loop trail went off from the one I was on. It simply encircles a charcoal burning mound from back in the day. There’s a nice informational sign here which tells us about the…
… historic site where charcoal was once produced over 100 years ago. The site can be distinguished by a flat circular mound that is approximately 30 ft. in diameter. To make charcoal back in those times, 30 to 40 cords of wood cut from the surrounding forest would have been stacked 8 to 12 feet high on this flat hearth area. The 4-5 foot-long logs were then covered first with leaves, then with dirt or ash. Red hot embers would have been dropped into the top of the stack, but they did not cause the logs to burn due to a lack of oxygen from the dirt covering. Instead, the wood smoldered for up to a month’s time before drying and condensing into charcoal. The charcoal was then removed from the site and used mainly for the production of iron. No doubt Harwinton would also have had a blacksmith in need of locally produced charcoal.
From there, I continued the full loop which took into the woods again and up and over the other little knoll on the entire property. Cracks me up.
Back across the non-slip Y-shaped boardwalk, back down the long and straight boardwalk, and back into my car.
I don’t mean to diminish Meadowview. I enjoyed it very much. I imagine it’s quite a lovely spot to birdwatch as long as the bugs aren’t too bad. Y’all know I love that these little land trust trails exist. Especially such well-maintained and cared for ones like this.
Up next: Roraback Wildlife Management Area!