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Barn Island Hike/Tour with Historian

**Be there at 10:00, Marta Daniels will give us a short presentation**

Noted CT writer/historian Marta Daniels will kick off this event by guiding us to the location of Venture Smith's 26-acre homestead, now a part of the Barn Island WMA.  It will be a privileged opportunity to accompany Marta, whose groundbreaking research on this topic was filmed in 2009 by C-SPAN.

Barn Island Wildlife Management Area is actually a barn-less peninsula.  With the help of CT DE&EP and Marta Daniels, we now have some good clues as to how it got its name.

We'll wander around this pleasant shoreline area through forest, marsh and graveyard.  Keep an eye out for waterfowl.  Breathe in the dank tidal salt marsh atmosphere.  Imagine how life was like here in near-Revolutionary times, when a freed slave made the area his home.  Peer into the distance across Little Narragansett Bay from a sandy elevation of 0ft.

There's a nice boat launch at this venue.  You are certainly free to bring your kayaks and drop em in the water after the hike.  Those with mountain/hybrid bikes can also bring em for a post-hike pedal within the WMA.  

HIKE DISTANCE:  4.5 miles (approx)

HIKE ELAPSED TIME:  2.5-3hr (approx)

ELEVATION GAIN (BY GPS):  negligible; this is the shoreline, so expect (mostly) level terrain

HIKE PLAN:   Counterclockwise looping hike starting and ending at cul-de-sac at end of gravel road off of Stewart Road/Brucker Pentway.  There are no trail blazes within the WMA.  Please refer to the GPS-generated hiking track for depiction of the actual route we will follow (cul-de-sac is located at "white dot" on hiking track, upper right-hand corner).  Starting from a point in the parking area to be determined by Marta, proceed to Venture Smith homestead, details TBD, rejoin original hiking track near SW corner of Venture Smith property, continue NW on dirt road to forest trail (look for "Sam's Trail" inscribed on rock) on R, hike approx 1mi through forest (some left turns involved) to dirt road, turn R and proceed across marsh to Palmer Neck Rd., turn L and hike to forest entrance trail, proceed into forest and follow trail to dirt road, turn R and proceed to multiple posted signs describing Barn Island WMA, contemplate, backtrack along dirt road across marsh, hike to intersection, turn R to follow dirt road through more marsh, then into woods, hike to stone gate, contemplate graveyard, continue along dirt road to paved road (Brucker Pentway), follow to Steward Rd, turn left onto gravel road to point of origin.

TRAIL MAPS:  Barn Island hiking loop, recorded by AllTrails (this is also a good mtn bike loop);  Barn Island WMA trail map 

HIKE START TIME: Feet will hit the trail promptly at 10:30am, so please aim to be at the parking lot no later than 10:00am. 

 HIKE START LOGISTICS:  We will congregate in the cul-de-sac parking area at the end of a gravel driveway off of Stewart Road.  Look for me holding a SOUTHEAST CT ADVENTURES sign.  We will then follow Marta to the starting point.

Learn more  about Barn Island Wildlife Management Area, its ornithological significance. and its connection to Venture Smith, an American slave who bought more than his freedom.

Those who wish to go should have:

* A daypack or lumbar pack - To carry trail food, water, and any extra items

* At least 1 quart (1 liter) drinking water

* Hiking boots advised

* Bug spray advised (to repel ticks and other disease-carrying insects; see this publication for discussion of tick and insect repellents)

DRIVING DIRECTIONS:  (courtesy of CT DEP) From the West: Take I-95 North to exit 91. Right off exit ramp. From the East: I-95 exit 91. Left off exit ramp. Then right onto Route 234 / Pequot Trail. Short distance (~.25 miles) left onto North Main Street (follow sign to Stonington Borough) to intersection with Route 1 / Stonington-Westerly Road. Turn left onto Route 1 / Stonington-Westerly Road. Right onto Greenhaven Road. Proceed 1.9mi to Stewart Road, turn right, pass Vars Ave and Davis Ave.  About 200ft past Davis Ave. on Stewart Rd., look for SECT Adventures + Venture's Walk signs, turn right onto narrow gravel road and proceed to the large round cul-de-sac parking area at end.  (If you continue straight on Stewart Road/Brucker Pentway to the gated end, you've gone the wrong way.)

PARKING:  There is parking for about 20-25 vehicles at the cul-de-sac.  Because of this, and the wide width of most of the trails, etc. I've opened the RSVP number to 25. Please carpool if you can.

 LATITUDE/LONGITUDE OF CUL-DE-SAC PARKING AREA AT END OF GRAVEL ROAD OFF STEWART ROAD/BRUCKER PENTWAY: [masked], [masked]

Problems finding the parking lot?  Call Erin[masked]

=== Legal Stuff ===

By clicking on "Count Me In" or "Yes" for this event you agree, warrant, and covenant as follows: In consideration for accepting this entry, I, the registrant, intending to be legally bound, hereby, for myself, my heirs, my executors and administrators, do waive and release any and all rights for damages I may have against any parties or persons connected with the South Eastern CT Adventures Meetup group for and related to the above listed event. I attest and verify that I am physically fit to participate in any portion of this above listed event. I grant South Eastern CT Adventures permission to use any photographs, film or videotapes of this event for any purpose.

==================

 

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  • Erin

    Let's do this again next year !!!

    2 · September 25, 2013

    • Val O

      Yes!

      September 25, 2013

  • William C.

    Looking forward to another outing!

    September 17, 2013

  • Val O

    Thanks Suzi for the pic!

    September 17, 2013

  • Erin

    Thank you Marta for a great hike and a great education !

    1 · September 17, 2013

  • Tricia

    Dr. Karl, Marta, Kevin and Erin... THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Fun AND educational!!~

    1 · September 17, 2013

  • William C.

    [masked] for pix if anyone could send

    September 16, 2013

  • Val O

    If anyone took a picture of the salt marsh could you email me a photo? I left my phone in the car but would love a pic if it's not too much trouble. :)

    September 16, 2013

    • Suzi

      no problem. address?

      September 16, 2013

    • Val O

      [masked] I thought you could get it on Meetups. And thanks Suzi!!

      September 16, 2013

  • William C.

    It is good to know about the efforts to create a national heritage site within the wma. I will be looking for updates in the future.

    September 16, 2013

  • William C.

    Outstanding learning opportunity

    September 16, 2013

  • Val O

    What a beautiful day! AWESOME job Marta Carl and Erin! Especially Marta...making the copies and distributing The Day Articles. The marshes were beautiful.

    1 · September 15, 2013

  • Tom M.

    Great Hike, Thank you Carl and Marta and Erin for putting it all together. Interesting to learn a little local history.

    September 15, 2013

  • Suzi

    Very interesting and beautiful landscape. Super nice people!

    September 15, 2013

  • Joy

    Nice hike, beautiful day, fantastic speaker = great time

    2 · September 15, 2013

  • Sandi G.

    Both Carl and Marta were excellent. So much so that I'm now interested in learning more about Venture Smith. I only wish we had been able to sign up to be invited to his family reunion each year. (I did not think of asking until after I had left.) I would really love to go. If ever more is offered about this man, I would appreciate being informed. It was a lovely day and I felt in good and quite capable hands. Thank you very much!

    2 · September 15, 2013

  • Maria

    I'm on my way too...

    September 15, 2013

  • Evan R.

    I'm leaving now I'll be there in 10 minute. I'll catch up

    September 15, 2013

  • Val O

    Looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow. Weather looks good!

    September 14, 2013

  • Rob

    Sorry have to cancel...;(

    September 14, 2013

  • William C.

    Looks like great weather for a hike

    September 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I recently walked this route with Marta and Erin, and we'd like to bring a few things to your attention.
    We will at times be hiking through fields which are overgrown, and sometimes stepping off of the trail to view historic features of the homestead, so be sure to bring bug spray to repel ticks. We observed poison ivy in a few limited areas; if this is a concern, pharmacy products are available (such as Tecnu) which are effective when applied before exposure as well as scrubs for post-exposure removal.
    We are also offering a "Venture Smith homestead only" option for those who are time-challenged, a guide will lead you back to the parking area after the approximately one-hour historic portion of the hike.
    If you have questions, please feel free to message me.
    Marta and Erin: if I forgot to mention anything, please add your comments

    3 · September 1, 2013

    • William C.

      thanks for the heads up, but I will still be there!

      1 · September 1, 2013

    • Tricia

      Thanks Kevin! I will plan accordingly!

      September 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I had to cancel. I need some time with my kids.
    MJ

    September 12, 2013

  • Maria

    Depends on the date.

    1 · August 12, 2013

    • Sandi G.

      Maybe we can go together Maria?

      September 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll be there to help with the hiking logistics

    1 · August 27, 2013

  • Maria de la A.

    Looking to my first activity with the group. My 16 year old son will join me.

    August 24, 2013

  • William C.

    Even more eager for the total experience!

    August 22, 2013

  • William C.

    i am there! hope weather is not a factor. cant wait to hear about historical significance of a naturally, beautiful area.

    August 21, 2013

    • William C.

      cannot wait to be enthralled!, plus I need to get some hiking under my belt, pt test right around the corner... need to get some fresh exercise and history, to boot.

      August 22, 2013

  • Sandi G.

    Naturally it depends on the date and my availability, but I'd love to attend. Please keep me informed. Thanks.

    August 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    My favorite place to hike! It'll be nice to have someone narrate while we walk.

    August 5, 2013

  • William C.

    As long as it is not 6 7 or 8

    August 5, 2013

  • William C.

    Count me in!

    August 5, 2013

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