Friends of the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) are inviting the public to join in celebrating the groundbreaking of Wilton’s NRVT demonstration trail. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 11 a.m. on the trail at Gaylord Dr. North, on the northbound side of Route 7, adjacent to the intersection with Route 106 (Wolfpit Rd.). State Sen. Toni Boucher, State Rep. Gail Lavielle, and First Selectman Bill Brennan will be among the dignitaries in attendance.
The proposed NRVT will provide a 38-mile, multi-use trail (including loops) connecting Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk and Rogers Park in Danbury. On Thursday, construction will begin on the half-mile segment from Danbury Road to Raymond Lane. It will be the first part of the town’s eight-mile Wilton Center Loop, a trail with an east and west side that will wrap around town center.
“Thursday marks a significant milestone – it is the first step in the construction of the future, full-length Norwalk River Valley Trail,” said Patricia Sesto, Wilton’s director of environmental affairs. “Weather permitting, we expect to wrap up the demonstration trail in about six to eight weeks. At that time, our community will have a chance to truly experience what we envision NRVT to be – a 10-foot-wide packed trail that will be perfect for cyclists, runners, and hikers, as well as those who are in wheelchairs or pushing strollers.”
Phase one of this east-side Wilton Loop was made possible by generous donations from the community. The NRVT anticipates completing the remainder of the east-side Wilton Loop – another four miles from Danbury Rd. through woods in residential neighborhoods, behind the Wilton YMCA towards Allen’s Meadows, where it would join with the west side of the Loop to continue north – in 2014. Securing the community’s support will be critical in order to raise the estimated $1.6 million needed for the project.
“We have raised $300,000 to date and have set an aggressive goal of reaching $500,000 by Thanksgiving,” Sesto said. “Judging by the community’s enthusiastic reaction to the plans we’ve presented in workshops, as well as the popular, frequent use of the existing NRVT trail between Merwin Meadows and School Rd., I am quite confident we can be successful.”
Sesto encourages the public to come out and take part in this milestone event on Thursday. Following the ceremony, a group will head out for a short hike to see where trail will be laid. Sneakers and/or similarly sturdy shoes are recommended.
Parking is available at the commuter Park & Ride, just north of Orem’s Diner. Head over to the ceremony at Gaylord Dr. North, which starts at 11 a.m., via the Wolfpit and Route 7 crosswalks.