Ridgefield News
December 11, 2000

Rail Trail Opened


New Trail Is Another Holiday Gift For Ridgefield!

First Selectman Inaugurates 2-Mile Hiking/Running Trail Through Town

Wolfpit runners inaugurate new trail
{From left] Ed Martin, John Dugdale, and Tom Elliott of Ridgefield's Wolfpit Running Club take an inaugural run on the town's new trail. John, a long-time Wolfpit leader, is already thinking about incorporating the trail into one of the club's annual races or fun runs.

Rudy Marconi
Rudy Marconi wields the sledgehammer to pound in the spike on the ceremonial railroad track. The short length of track was set up for today's ceremony. The trail is on the old Branchville-to-Ridgefield railbed, now a power line right-of-way.

Dec. 11 -- First Selectman Rudy Marconi today cut the ribbon on Ridgefield's newest amenity - a 2.4 mile graded walking and hiking trail through some of the prettiest parts of town. The trail, built by the local power company, CL&P, at no cost to Ridgefield, was spearheaded by Marconi as a prime enhancement to Ridgefield's environment and open space. Today's event, featuring local dignitaries along with executives from CL&P, celebrated the year-long project which resulted in the town's first off-road trail - a boon to the many runners, hikers, and outdoor lovers in "Connecticut's #1 Town." Coming on the heels of the reinstatement of the holiday lights on Main Street and the passage of the omnibus school construction bundle, the new trail highlighted a series of holiday "gifts" to Ridgefielders.

Bill O'Neill Ribbon cutting
[Left] Bill O'Neill, of the engineering firm Fuss & O'Neill, did much of the design work on Ridgefield's trail. Bill is an advocate of creating trails such as this, and is active in the East Coast Greenway project. He appeared at a number of the informational meetings in Ridgefield, explaining to townspeople the benefit that similar projects have brought to other New England communities.
[Right] Rudy Marconi cuts the ceremonial ribbon opening the trail. He is joined by several CL&P executives, who were instrumental in building the trail at no cost to the town.

Trail Crowd views trail inauguration ceremony
[Left] The rules of the road are posted for all to read and heed. We are struck by the admonition "Take only photographs, leave only footprints, keep only memories."
[Right] Several dozen people attended the trail opening. The crowd included town officials, local conservation champions, and many "just plain folks" who were delighted to see a terrific addition to Ridgefield's recreation amenities.

Ridgefield's Selectmen walk the proposed trail - March 2000
Last February's informational meeting on the trail

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Brought to you by the Ridgefield, Ct. Democratic Town Committee, Jim Diamond, Chairman
Paid for by The Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee, Edwin C. Pearson, Treasurer

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