2016 Summer Project

by Elena and Dmitry

Holcombe Hill

To The Highest Spot In Newtown

Today for our weekly hike we went to Holcombe Hill. It is the highest point in Newtown and the views are awesome. You could see all around you - 360 degrees. We started hiking on the grass path through one of the many fields. The sign said you could walk your dog and go cross country skiing however you are not able to ride your horse. As we were hiking we saw the fields were full of wildflowers and some had insects on them, as you can see by the Japanese beetle. The wildflowers and grasses were all about three feet tall.

We started hiking on the blue trail and headed into the forest. It was a little bit damp and we saw some slugs on the trees. EWW!! I found our first cache here at the beginning of the trail. After finding the cache we continued walking on the trail and we noticed a frog on a rock. He was just sitting there. As we walked along the trail we saw many different signs but we only saw this one only once. In the forest we saw more wildflowers like this Ladyslipper and there were different kind of mushrooms.


The trail now became a swamp so we had to Walk The Planks!!! As you can see, as we rested on the bench, some of us weren't having as much fun as the others but, things were soon to change. We came to a pond that was dedicated to a person named Paul “Chip” Lux in 2014. It says the forest was his cathedral. As we looked into the pond we saw lots of tiny orange goldfish swimming around and noticed one was about to eat a flower petal.

As we left the pond area we noticed some rocks that looked like they had been scraped by glaciers or eaten away by erosion. We exited the woods and entered back into the fields again. We first saw a large patch of beautiful black eyed susans. Then as we were walking up the hill we saw two deer standing right in front of us. They looked up, saw us, and took off. They were gone in a flash.

Next we crossed the road and entered the trail at telephone pole number 7406 and then continued on to the red trail. We crossed a couple of bridges and we bushwhacked our way to the dog memorial. On the way back to the trail we saw some more mushrooms and slugs. We walked around and found all of the caches on this side of the road and at this point I have found three, d has found four, and D has found five.

We visited the historic red barn then crossed the road to head back into the fields. We saw a busy bee on a black eyed susan working to make the fields look even more beautiful. Then there was a white mosquito moth like flying bug insect thing sitting on the leaf of a flower. It was ghost like. The fields were full of fascinating butterflies and they were flying around us.



Next we stopped at a pretty marble bench to have a rest and to look for the next cache. We searched the edge of the woods thoroughly but we could not find it. We had a clue, we read it over and over and then we thought it pointed us to the other side and there it was right where it was supposed to be. A park worker came over and told us people have been asking him where this cache is and he believes it has gone missing. I said “no it's not”.



After that we started to make our way to the summit and along the way we found two more caches. It was a long hike through the fields up to the top where it is 830 feet above sea level at the gazebo. There are some buildings at the top that were owned by Josephine Holcombe. She used to live here. She donated 14 acres on Birch Hill Road and an additional 64 acre parcel on Birch Hill Road with an antique barn known as the Holcombe Memorial Trail to create the park. Her homes are now occupied by Newtown Forest Association offices, maintenance equipment buildings and a caretaker residence.

We then headed back to the car. One last cache before we got in the car and our total for the day was 18 found, 2 not found. I found 4.3, d found 6.3, and D found 7.3. Since we were all starving we went home to eat the food we were supposed to bring with us that we left sitting on the counter.

Links:

Trail Map:

Holcombe Hill Wildlife Preserve