Funding complete for Wilton-Norwalk section of river trail

The WilWalk section of the Norwalk Valley River Trail will pass a pond at Broad Street in Norwalk. Oct.

The WilWalk section of the Norwalk Valley River Trail will pass a pond at Broad Street in Norwalk. Oct.

Norwalk River Valley Trail / Contributed photo

WILTON — The Norwalk River Valley Trail has reached a major fundraising milestone for its WilWalk section of the trail, raising more than the $274,000 goal necessary to release a $1.3-million state construction grant. With these funds now in place, vendor contracting and construction can begin. Trail officials anticipate a start date at the end of the first quarter of 2021.

“Completing WilWalk funding is a major accomplishment for Wilton, the City of Norwalk and the NRVT,” Executive Director Beth Merrill said in a press release. “We are so very grateful to everyone who donated funds both large and small. It will be very exciting to see the construction begin late winter 2021.”

WilWalk — a combination of Wilton and Norwalk — is the portion of the trail that will run from Norwalk’s Broad Street along the Norwalk River, over open space corridors, up a hill for a vista overlooking the railroad and river to Kent Road in Wilton, returning to follow the river to Wolfpit Road in Wilton. There it connects to the NRVT Wilton loop heading an additional 2.2 miles north.

The initial construction of WilWalk will be between Old Belden Hill Road in Norwalk and Kent Road in Wilton as well as south in Wilton from Wolfpit Road to the Quarry Pond, adding an extra 1.2 miles to the trail.

Among those who contributed to the campaign are: R.J. Aley Building Contractor, Athletic Brewing Company, Canine Company, CBET Foundation, City of Norwalk, Eldco Development, LLC, Christina and Woodson Duncan, Pat Fahey, Josie and Trevien Goldman, Newman’s Own Foundation, Outdoor Sports Center, Betsy and Bill Raftery, Santa Energy /Servco Oil and Propane, Sustainable CT Community Fund, and Jennifer Toll. Additionally, 15 other donors contributed to this success.

During the first three months of the coronavirus pandemic, trail use spiked by more than 260 percent. The NRVT has eight miles of completed of trail and 22 more miles to build. When completed, it will run from Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, through Wilton, Ridgefield and Redding, terminating at Rogers Park in Danbury. Information: