08 7 / 2012
And on to Day Two. Today was to be a much happier occasion: not only was I joined by Rob, my usual partner in crime, but we even found a couple of friends mad enough to join us. Gili and Michael drove up separately to ease the logistics of the day, because yet again, we were faced with a cunning, traffic limiting linear hike along the Saugatuck Trail. We met up at the south end of the reservoir on a gloriously sunny day with very little humidity, then piled into their car to the northern end of the trail. Wanting to keep it within the realms of a pleasant Sunday stroll and avoid the maddened Goshawks to be found to the north, we went for the Tudor Road car park instead of heading to the end of the trail.
The Saugatuck trails winds its way above the Saugatuck Reservoir, a man made body of water created by damming the river with the Samuel P. Senior Dam in 1938. This flooded the village of Valley Forge, creating the largest of eight reservoirs in order to provide drinking water for the surrounding towns and the Bridgeport Water System. This devastation of houses and livelihoods, actually turned bittersweet from many, as the creation of the reservoir and protection of the watershed eventually led to preservation of the surrounding woodlands, protecting them from ongoing development and creating a beautiful natural resource for hiking, birdwatching and fishing.
So, onto the trail itself. There’s not much to remark, as it’s very similar to yesterday’s woods. Spectacularly open, small outcrops of eroded rock, low green ferns and chipmunks chirruping everywhere. The trail is more consistently lovely than the Aspetuck, with none of the vehicle track sections, and dappled shade the whole way along. You climb to a couple of viewpoints of the reservoir, but in the height of the green of summer there wasn’t a huge amount to see from the top of them. There’s a couple of inlets where you can get a little closer to the water, and in these spots you can see plenty of fish sunbathing in the shallows (the reservoir is stocked with trout) and awesome quad winged dragonflies flitting everywhere.
The walk is lovely, much more so than the day before, but yet again, there’s no real catching feature. Residents of the State are very lucky that these woodlands still exist, but the strict regulations imposed by the access requirement (don’t forget your permit!) mean that they’re a somewhat sanitised version of forests found elsewhere in the State. Lovely for a sedate stroll with friends, but the kid gloves version of a proper state park. As long as you avoid the goshawks, that is.
Goshawks successfully avoided.