The Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for two new sections of the “Wilton Loop” on Saturday, June 27 at 10 a.m. (rain date Sunday, June 28), and has invited the public to attend. The ceremony will take place at the start of the principal section of new trail at Sharp Hill Rd..

The principal new section of trail will run 0.5 miles from Sharp Hill Rd. to near Twin Oak Ln., extending the existing east-side Loop. On the west side of the Loop, a trail will be built along the south side of Horseshoe Pond. Both sections will be designed and built by Vermont-based Timber and Stone LLC, the same company that built NRVT sections in Wilton in 2014.

Participants will gather at the commuter Park & Ride just north of Orem’s Diner on Rte. 7 (near the junction with Rte. 106/Wolfpit Rd.). Parking is available at the same location. Participants will then walk together to the ceremony site along 1.1 miles of level or gently climbing surfaced trail.

For those who are able, the groundbreaking event will be followed by a Work Day to help the trail-builder with preparatory tasks. Work will begin immediately after the ceremony. Volunteers should bring work gloves, and any (or none) of the following tools:  small handsaw, leaf rake, loppers, pole/pruning saw. Water will be provided.

The new trail has been made possible by generous donations from the community. In addition to the many smaller, but invaluable contributors, organizers have thanked the following donors:

Claude and Jennifer Amadeo
The Bauer Foundation
Dorel Sports (Cannondale bikes)
John and Doon Foster
Clifford and Norma Fox
Greg and Gina Jansen
James and Lisa Lillie
Next Step Living
The Oaklawn Foundation
Patagonia
Steve and Betsy Pettit
The Robertson Family Foundation
Aaron and Alexa Schlechter
Chris and Catherine Stroup
The Wescustogo Foundation
Wilton Go Green

The NRVT plans next to extend the east-side loop as far as Skunk Ln.. If an additional $250,000 can be raised, the goal may be achieved in 2015. The east-side loop will eventually run to Pimpewaug Rd., the Wilton Family Y, and Cannondale Village, meeting an expanded west-side loop at Allen’s Meadows.

Wilton Center NRVT map

The NRVT’s vision is to build 38 miles of multi-purpose trail connecting Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk and Rogers Park in Danbury, passing through Wilton, Ridgefield, and Redding on the way. In addition to creating recreational opportunities for walkers, hikers, cyclists, kids, pets and – on some stretches – equestrians, the NRVT will offer a green and healthy transportation alternative to reach rail stations, schools, offices, and businesses.

For those interested in contributing to the NRVT, tax-deductible contributions may be sent to “The Friends of the NRVT,” P.O. Box 174, Georgetown, CT 06829, or made via the ‘Donate’ button on the NRVT website.