Things to Know Before You Go
Footwear: A comfortable pair of boots or walking shoes will suffice. Heavy work soles are not necessary and, in fact, contribute significantly to trail erosion.
Maps: The ones in this book are schematic only. They do not fine-line the country you'll be traveling through. Most trails are clearly marked, and the maps here more than adequate. If you stay on the trails, as you should, no problem. A free map (your hiking permit) of the Saugatuck Valley Trails system is available at the Redding Town Clerk's office or from Aquarion Water Company at (203) 452-3510.
Trail Blazes: Most trails on lands under the jurisdiction of the Town and the Land Trust are blazed with white paint. Single blazes (a two-by-six inch mark) indicate the route of travel. Two blazes, one above the other, indicate an important change in the direction of the trail. This symbol is a warning to stop and look. Connecting or alternate trails, and cul-de-sacs off main trails, are usually blazed in blue. Trails under the jurisdiction of other bodies may use different marking systems.
Poisonous Plants: Poison ivy is common in Redding; poison sumac, rare. If you do not know how to identify either plant, consult a guide. If you do know, avoid the stuff.
Ticks: Much has been written of late about the deer tick and Lyme disease . Suffice it to say that deer ticks are prevalent in the woods of Redding. Precautions may be taken against Lyme disease by carefully checking all clothing and skin after walking on trails. Spraying clothing with repellent, wearing a hat and showering after a hike are helpful preventives. Inasmuch as we cannot round up all the usual suspects, it's up to you to take the necessary precautions. Here is more detailed information from the State of Connecticut
Snakes: The Northern Copperhead is the only poisonous snake extant in Redding. The rest are harmless, and so is the copperhead if you leave it alone. There are people in Redding whose time in the woods can be counted in years, yet few have ever seen this snake. Still, know the critter. It prefers a rock habitat. Its color runs toward beige or tan., with brown or reddish hourglass bands on its back, and a wedge-shaped, coppery head wider than its body. The copperhead should not be confused with the harmless milk snake, which is much smaller and has a narrow head.
Hunting Season: Hunting is not permitted on any of the lands described in this book. But there are always a few hunters who don't know, or don't care. If you plan to hit the trail during the hunting season, play it safe - wear something orange.
Water: Many trails here cross bubbling brooks that may tantalize the thirsty hiker. Don't take chances. Carry your own water. ❧
Open Space Regulations
The following rules and regulations apply to use of all lands described in this book unless otherwise noted.
Hours of Use: From sunup to sundown.
Keeping it Green: Redding Town ordinance prohibits the defacement, removal or destruction of any structure, rock, tree, flower, shrub, fern or moss on dedicated open space.
Keeping it Clean: It: goes without saying that littering is punishable by a fine. If you carry it in, carry it out.
Vehicles: Wheeled vehicles of any kind, including bikes, motorbikes, ATVs, etc. are prohibited. Violators will be prosecuted. (Wheel chairs, of course, are permitted on trails for the handicapped.)
Horses: Horses are permitted only on such trails as may be listed or posted for equestrian use. More details.
Dogs: Dogs are permitted but must be under the control of their owners at all times.
Fires: Strictly prohibited. Under extreme drought conditions, open space lands may be closed to use.
Camping: Strictly prohibited.
Hunting, Trapping or Carrying Guns: Strictly prohibited.
Swimming: Swimming is not permitted.
Fishing: Fishing is not permitted on lands of the Redding Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy and Connecticut Audubon Society. Sportfishing is permitted from lands owned by the Town and the Centennial Watershed State Forest (CWSF). For Town lands, a Connecticut fishing license is required. For CWSF lands, an Aquarion Water Company permit is required which is valid only for the year in which it is issued.
Cross-Country Skiing: Cross country skiing is permitted, but is really only desirable in Huntington State Park. More details.
Snowshoeing: Many of our trails provide excellent terrain for snowshoeing. Start on flatter trails and work up to the hills. ❧