Sunday, August 2, 2009

Water wheel at Terryville, CT

That time again - for a visit to Connecticut. By nature this is more for rest and recreation but the shadow of history - and even geology - is not far off.

First stop was in Farmington at the Hill-Stead Museum. Here, magnificently preserved, is a home harkening back to the golden age of opulence during the late 1880's. Within its walls are an art museum from the collecting of the original owner who was one of the early enthusiasts for Impressionist paintings. Much stone was worked into the exterior of the home, including it's pasture walls and gardens, and yes - the grounds once had its very own quarry. Also on the grounds (after a quick trip to the local model airplane airfield) is a modest set of hiking trails that lead through forests, swamps, old apple orchards, and one can even join up with the Metacomet Trail running through the neighborhood.

Connecticut history also boasts a series of canals. One of these once ran through the Southington area where part of an old railroad line has been turned into one of modern age's popular bike trails. Upon reaching its end, the old route continues off through over grown fields with the remains of an old bridge across the Quinnipiac River.

The second day was devoted to visiting a pretty nice park in Bristol - Rockwell Park. Lots of old stone work, a spring, ponds (one now non existent), and a system of hiking trails. Afterwards was an environmental park with its own trails winding through bogs and woodland. Finally, with light rain falling: the old water wheel in Terryville, presently under renovation as park of a public park.