Madison Trail Extension Nearly Complete

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The new section will connect Hammonasset Beach State Park with Madison’s Webster Point Road (Susan Rianhard photo)

A westward extension of the Shoreline Greenway Trail from Hammonasset Beach State Park is nearing completion, bringing the ability to safely bike or walk between the park and downtown Madison without using Route 1 a step closer to reality. The 750-foot extension, connecting the existing one-mile trail in Hammonasset with Webster Point Road, is expected to open in early 2016. When complete, it will allow walkers, hikers and bikers to use the trail and local roads rather than a dangerous stretch of Route 1 to travel between Hammonasset, downtown Madison, and Madison’s beaches, shoreline recreational facilities and tourist destinations. Check back soon or sign up for email notifications, and we’ll let you know when the new trail is open!

Webster Point Road extension bridge with Perry Rainhard

A cyclist stops by say hello to Perry Rianhard, SGT Trailmaster, as he works on the bridge on the trail section connecting Hammonasset Beach State Park to Webster Point Road

Eagle Candidate Installs Rain Garden at Trailhead

Eric's team at work

Eric’s team at work

There is a new rain garden in the trailhead parking lot in Madison, and soon there will be a new Eagle Scout in Guilford. For his Eagle project Guilford Boy Scout Eric Weidman successfully sought donations of plant materials from a variety of sources. Clinton Nurseries and Susan Conlan donated trees and shrubbery, Hammonasset Park provided mulch, and Van Wilgen’s offered a discount. He marshaled a small army of other scouts, friends, and family, and finally in two and a half hours on Father’s Day Eric and his team planted the garden, a spectacular accomplishment!

Landscape architect Barbara Yaeger volunteered to mentor Eric as he worked on his project. The design for the rain garden was created by Yaeger in collaboration with Madison Director of Public Works and Town Engineer Mike Ott, who volunteered to design the parking lot.

Eric directs the placement of trees.

Eric in foreground directs the placement of trees.

What is a rain garden and why have one in the parking lot, you might ask. Rainwater washing across a parking lot carries a variety of pollutants such as fertilizer, bacteria, debris, toxic chemicals, and other substances. In addition, fresh water pouring into the salt marsh alters the salinity and threatens the survival of the marsh.

For our rain garden Yaeger selected plants for their ability to tolerate wetness after storms and dryness during intervals between storms. When it rains, water from the lot runs into the rain garden catching sediment, pollutants, and bacteria before they get to the nearby salt marsh. As the storm water filters through the soil, it is mostly absorbed by the plants while they take up nitrogen and phosphorus as well.

A view of the finished product

A view of the finished product

So next time you park in the trailhead parking lot at Hammonasset Park, be sure to take note of the beauty and the science of the rain garden.

If you want more information about rain gardens, here is a link to a great app click here. And this is a link to a brochure with guidance and plant lists click here

The Trail Takes to the Highway!

Highway sign on Route One in Madison

Highway sign on Route One in Madison

Shoreline Greenway Trail directional signs have been installed on I95 at exit 62, on the I95 connector in Madison, and on both sides of the parking lot entrance on Route One.

May 2nd ‘First Saturday’ Walk at Hammonasset Beach State Park

HammWoods*Runner4MAY 2nd, SATURDAY, 10AM MADISON: HAMMONASSET BEACH STATE PARK, John Paulson, Madison team member and Chair of Trail Development for the whole trail, will lead us from the SGT parking lot to the newest trail segment that runs from the park tollbooths to the walkway. Across the marsh we will pass the campground and walk around the peninsula to the end of the completed trail where work is starting on the new segment down to Webster Point Road. Spectacular marsh views and bird watching. Very easy, a few minor hills. 2 miles round trip, one hour. Meet at the eastern trailhead parking lot off Route One just east of the Hammonasset entrance road. Exit 62 from I 95 south to Route 1, Left on Route 1, Right into Park service road and parking lot. Questions: madison@shorelinegreenwaytrail.org