Real wilderness found
at Terre Haute site
Letter to the
As appeared in the Danbury New Times, 03/04/02
I went on a couple of hikes in the Adirondack High Peaks region
over Thanksgiving weekend.
The first was up one of the 4,000-foot high peaks. The trail was
so rutted that it was very easy to follow. Along the way, I met
well over two dozen people and at least a dozen dogs.
The next day’s
hike was flatter. I drove into a large paid parking area, got a
permit and went for a hike to Marcy Dam. This trail was not as rutted
as the previous day’s trail, but it was impossible to miss.
Part way in,
there was a sign saying that I was entering the wilderness. I almost
laughed out loud. This was some tame wilderness. Along the way,
there were outhouses and lean-tos, as well as established campsites.
When I signed out, I noted that 28 parties had signed in since I
with a recent hike at Terre Haute. This is the area roughly between
Route 53 in Bethel and Long Ridge Road in Danbury.
Some of this
area is owned by the Swampfield Land Trust of Danbury and is protected
as open space. Some 630 acres is owned by Bethel for its water supply
and is not protected as open space.
My friend and
I found the trails sparsely marked and somewhat difficult to follow.
We lost and found the trail several times. At one point, my friend
remarked that there was absolute silence. We could hear no cars
and no machines. We saw only one other person in the interior of
This was real
wilderness. Instead of being hundreds of miles away, it was about
21ž2 miles from my house. This is my back yard. This is too good
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