Wilton trail opens to honor Nick Parisot
Nick Parisot was killed while riding on a trail 11 years ago, and now his family has succeeded in creating a trail to honor his memory. A kiosk marking a trail head on Tito Lane was dedicated over the summer, and more recently the Board of Selectmen approved allowing parts of the trail to pass through the Town Forest.
The final piece of the puzzle is a website, standupfornick.org, that commemorates and celebrates Nick, the trail, and the outdoors he loved.
After Nick’s death, many people made donations to the Wilton Land Conservation Trust in his name.
“It took us 10 years to find a meaningful project,” Nick’s mother, Kate Throckmorton, said about using the funds. The “Nick Trail,” as it is called, was announced on the 10-year anniversary of his death, but it took until this year for all the pieces to fall into place.
“We wanted it to be about trails, open spaces and connections to public space,” Throckmorton told The Bulletin. “When I was a kid, it was a different time. You could walk to school through the woods. You could walk to the town center through the woods. Now people are more cautious. They avoid everyone’s backyard.”
Wilton has many trails and open spaces, “but if you want to go for an hour’s walk, you’d be hard-pressed to do so,” she said. “We wanted a trail that connects open spaces.”
The family and the land trust focused on Tito Lane because it is near the cairn Nick’s father, Rick Parisot, built in his memory.
“Where the kiosk is and the heart of the trail, that was our family’s ‘backyard,’” Throckmorton said. “We are happy to have people enjoy it.”
The trail goes from the Tito Lane kiosk through land trust property to Slaughter Field. It parallels Piper’s Hill to the Town Forest, then to Boulder Brook Road, crosses Millstone Road to Bristol Place. It will eventually hook up with the Norwalk River Valley Trail at Mountain Road.
The website, originally created to support the Parisot family in the years following Nick’s death, has been transformed by two of his classmates, Alex Mirabile and George Copley.
It is now “a more positive remembrance of Nick,” Throckmorton said. Its mission statement describes Nick as “an extraordinary boy who was filled with joy and love for the outdoors, reveling in the freedom and nurturing that it provided.” It goes on to say, “With the development of Nick Parisot Memorial Trail in North Wilton, we seek to move forward in the celebration of his life.”
The site includes a map of the trail and documents environmental projects that have been done over the years in Nick’s memory. It also includes a page for community members to post photos of their experiences on the trail
A timeline of events marks Nick’s death on June 13, 2008, when he was riding his motor bike through the woods and hit a rope tied across the trail. His death from neck trauma was ruled a homicide. It took until August 2012 for Wilton police to be able to travel to California to bring back the young man they believed responsible for Nick’s death. He ultimately admitted in civil court his actions were responsible.