Easy afternoon walk will look at winter woodlands

After a moonlit walk in January, the Wilton Conservation Commission is going back to daytime hikes with a Sunday afternoon walk through the Vista Road property on Feb. 28 at 1.

This 36-acre property was originally purchased by the town in 1966 as a potential site for a school, but as enrollment declined it was never developed. Nearly 30 years later the Wilton Trails Association blazed a loop trail with access to Vista and Bald Hill roads and a single trail leading to a swamp lookout and Wilton Land Conservation Trust property.

The Bald Hill Road entrance, which the walk will use, features a 50-foot-wide strip that was intended as the access road to the proposed school. As open space preserved within a community, homes are within sight of the second-growth woods through which the trail passes.

It’s questionable how successful this property would have been as a site for a school since there are two wetland systems, so wet they are actually swamps. However, the walk will take place on paths that are wide and primarily flat through woodlands.

The walk will take about 45 minutes and will be followed by refreshments and time to chat. If there is still snow on the ground, walkers with snowshoes are encouraged to bring and use them. Children are welcome, and dogs on leash may also attend.

Reservations are suggested to allow organizers to plan for refreshments and in case there is a last-minute change due to weather. Call Jackie Algon at 203-210-5240 and leave a message indicating how many will attend and a phone number or email address for any notifications.

The entry to this area is off Ridgefield Road on Bald Hill Road. Driving north from the town center, it’s about two roads past DeForest. Turn left onto Bald Hill and the entrance is on the left, about halfway down the dead-end road. Parking is available along the road.

These walks are also sponsored by the conservation committee of the Wilton Garden Club. The club and commission are planning another night hike in the spring when it is not so cold and there is a full moon. That will likely take place in May, and a telescope will be available for viewing the night sky up close.

Other walks to watch for between now and then include an early morning walk for bird watching and an afternoon walk to look for butterflies.