On the Beaten Track - Rural and Scenic Roads

To enjoy the great outdoors of Redding, one does not necessarily have to be a compleat hiker. Some of the trails described in this book are suitable for other pursuits, such as horseback riding and cross-country skiing. And throughout our town are a number of old rural roads, unpaved for the most part, that lend themselves to a variety of recreational experiences ranging from the casual stroll to the stop-watch jog.

Redding is fortunate to have retained some ten miles of unpaved rural roads, much beloved by the public passing by and by the landowners who live beside them. In 1986, the Town acted to preserve not only these valued pieces of Redding's country atmosphere but to preserve the scenic status quo of some of its paved byways as well. It is called the Scenic Roads Ordinance, and has put under its protective mantle many rural roads.

As a general rule, Redding's rural roads have lower traffic counts, although pedestrians and equestrian riders must always be cautious when using roads also open to vehicular traffic. Several intersect footpaths or abut trailheads, and thereby serve as de facto extensions of the Town's trail system. Here are a few of the more interesting:

  • The dirt portion of Poverty Hollow Road, which was closed to vehicular traffic in 2004, runs south from Stepney Road into Easton, paralleling the Aspetuck River and going through former water company woodlands-a lovely level stroll with special appeal for birders.

  • John Read Road is also a dirt road, intersecting the Little River North Trail and running from Route 58 to Route 107 through the large conservation easement given to the Land Trust by the Hill family.

  • Sherman Turnpike, which lies between Sandfordtown Road and Newtown Turnpike, presents another pleasant walk along an unimproved road.

  • And in the Saugatuck Watershed and West Ridge area are Whortleberry, Topstone and George Hull Hill Roads. ❧