Wedgewood Wildlife Sanctuary, Southington
I’ve walked a few of these weirdly wedged-in trails before, and they always amaze me. Wedgewood in Southington is wedged in an oblong patch of woods behind backyards of an oval neighborhood. It’s as amazing as it is weird that it exists as a freely accessible trail system. I love it.
Here’s what I mean:
Before your roll your eyes, I’m telling you, the short walk here is actually pretty nice. It’s surely a heck of a lot better than the Southington Land Conservation Trust’s other advertised trail at the Joyce Wildlife Sanctuary. Infinitely better, actually.
The only thing that bothers me about these suburban trails is the chance that a large dog will come for me out of the many backyards the trail skirts. But that’s the chance I take for CTMQ readers. 99.9% of whom will never travel to the center of Southington to spend the 15 minute that I did.
The 17-acre parcel was donated in 2007 by The Mount Vernon Corporation. I know nothing of this transaction or the Mount Vernon Corporation but I’d be willing to bet they are the firm who built the homes on Wedgewood Road and this “donation” wasn’t exactly their choice as the trails traverse classic wetlands. And you can’t build on wetlands. But… thanks!
The SLCT has done a good job here, with tons of tree identification tags along the way. There are over twenty species of trees identified with many specimens of impressive size.
Also impressive? The trailhead kiosk. And the trail itself is as well for the first 4/5 of it heading counterclockwise. There is a cut-off trail or two, but I stuck to the outermost loop (Orange Trail to White Trail to Orange Trail.) This got me a whopping flat 3/4 mile at most. The trails are blazed way better than they ought to be and there are even nice little boardwalks to traverse the wetter areas.
I was fortunate enough to come upon a Cooper’s hawk along my walk. While fairly common, you don’t really see too many of these guys simply because they don’t really want you to see them. This one was probably enjoying a meal of a smaller bird on the ground in the dense shrubbery when I walked up on him. He took off for the relative safety of a tree branch and I took one of my infamous fantastic pictures:
What? You can’t see the hawk? Sigh.
As I approached the last quarter of my loop, I was immensely impressed that someone was keeping up with trail clearing through some nasty fast-growing junk plants, but then all of the sudden things changed. Several trees blocked the path, blazes became less frequent, and overgrowth became the norm. Honestly, it would take a team of two only a few hours to clean this short section up, and I’m sure that’s on the SLCT docket.
With a small, purely volunteer outfit like this land trust, that’s how it works. They work hard and get things done that most of us would run away from. And sometimes trees fall across trails. No big deal.
The volunteers will wedge some time to get to these woods.