2016 Summer Project

by Elena and Dmitry

Wooster Mountain

The Ives Trail

It was a beautiful morning, not too warm but it was surely going to get a little warmer as the day progressed. We started out this morning from the lot on Route 7 heading toward Jackson Lake. This our first time going down this part of the trail. We have been all over the parks that make up the Ives trail: Bennett’s Pond, Pine Mountain, Spruce Mountain, Hemlock Hills, Moses Mountain, Tarrywile Park, Wooster Mountain, and Bogus Mountain. But we have not been here on this part behind Lake Jackson. And, what a wonderful addition to connect this awesome trail system together!

Before we were a few hundred feet down the trail we saw some water lilies, a frog, a bird's nest and a beaver home. The views of the lake were fantastic! I have seen this lake over a thousand times from route 7 but this is the first from this side of the lake. As we walked along with the lake on the right we saw many large cliffs, on the left, all the way to Starrs Plain Road. This must be part of Moses Mountain. We also found a cache along the trail.

Next we walked up Starrs Plain Road to route 7 and waited for the light to change so we could cross over to the stairs. I believe it was a little over 10 years ago I helped make this part of the trail. I do not believe the stairs were in yet. I remember seeing the article in the paper when they were installed and were christened the "Praxiar Stairway To Heaven" (I guess they paid for it). Today the stairs were very overgrown and were almost covered in places. Weed Wacker!! The trail is also getting very narrow this time a year and made for a cozy walk at first, and definite tick check further up the hill. I have also started to notice lots of large boulders around, by themselves, hmmm.

On our way up the hill we passed some trees and it looked as if the tops had been ripped off. Then I noticed a strip of light through the trees and then we came upon all of the trees knocked over and their root bases up lifted out of the ground. After a little digging I discovered this was the work of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. This is the first time I have been on this trail since 2009. WOW! Limbo Down Now .... How Low Can you go? And there was a cache in the middle of this mess.

We made it out of Sandy's destruction and came upon a trail log. We took a look at it and read some of the entries. We added our names and headed off for the next GeoCache. We honed right in on it, but wait, Ohh my, what happened? When we got in front of the hiding place we found nicely colored guard bird but, it was no longer guarding the cache. It was dead. On closer inspection it looks as if it had died less than 48 hrs ago. It was in the process of being consumed by beetles and some flies were also seen. And, well, this made it difficult to get at the cache, but we managed to slip it on by.

OK so of the GeoCaches that we have come to find today everyone seems to have something going on with them in some way or another and this next was not going to disappoint. We had not read the description but we were pointed up the hill and we were a little hesitant on leaving the Ives trail. But I soon remembered a long time ago we had been here and that the final to one of the earlier “Ives” Multi-caches that were in this park had also brought us up to the top of this hill. So we made it up to the top and we quickly located the cache. We open it up, locate the log, and there was a couple of loose sheets of log papers torn out. They were on top of the log book in a plastic bag. I took everything out and low and behold the sheet that was on top was the log sheet that we had signed way back on 11/15/2009. WOW! Almost 7 years ago.

Next I am not sure why we decided to walk (bushwhack) down the hill, but not on the trail. It just kind of happened and we ended up bushwhacking almost all of the way to the next cache. We had a little bounce going on but we were able to find it.




As we continued on we were at about 900 feet above sea level and more and more we kept seeing very large boulders but there was not any logical places that they would had come from like a rock outcropping. I believe they are what is referred to as an “erratic” which are remnants of the glaciers. They were dropped where they are now when the ice melted and retreated to the North.


There was one more nice easy hike to our last cache for the day. We found a total of 8 caches today and it was time to head back to the car. It was a very nice day today and loved to finally get back to the area. We have walked these woods many time in the past. When we got back to the stairs we saw a few Hawks flying around on the thermals.We crossed the road and walked back along Jackson Lake and made it back to the car for a three hour 4-5 mile round trip.



Links

Western CT Council of Governments - https://westcog.org/ives-trail-greenway/

Ives Trail & Greenway - https://www.facebook.com/IvesTrail

Trail mix - http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/Trail-mix-74525.php

Ives Trail gaps filled in - http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/Ives-Trail-gaps-filled-in-320357.php

Take a Hike: Ives Trail's ups and downs - http://www.thehour.com/sports/article/Take-a-Hike-Ives-Trail-s-ups-and-downs-8101317.php

Ives Trail on Path to Completion - http://patch.com/connecticut/danbury/ives-trail-on-path-to-completion

Learn and talk about Ives Trail - http://www.digplanet.com/wiki/Ives_Trail

Ives Trail - Wooster Mountain Mountain Bike Trail - http://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7001443

Charlesives.org - http://www.charlesives.org/

Charles Ives - Biography.com - http://www.biography.com/people/charles-ives-36963

Danburymuseum.org - http://www.danburymuseum.org/danburymuseum/Ives.html