Nature's Path & Way To Go
May 14, 2011
Look at a satellite photograph of Cedar Mountain in Newington and you will see a swath of forest surrounded by urban sprawl. Now even that swath is threatened.
Through the heart of this open space you will find the Old Cedar Mountain Highway, mere feet from the Berlin Turnpike and Route 175. And down at the end of this ancient highway is one of the best views in the area. For years, area residents have traveled this dirt road through the deep forest filled with huge trees and gawked at the view of the surrounding hillsides.
Now many of these residents are getting together to fight the plans by Toll Brothers to build 100-150 homes/town houses across much of the mountain behind Russell Road and the Connecticut Humane Society. Although the ridgeline would be protected, many believe the essence and spirit – and even the soul of the mountain - would be lost.
Residents have formed http://www.savecedarmountain.com to fight the plans. And with the plans coming before the conservation commission May 17 and town plan and zoning commission May 25, organizers are hoping for a strong showing of support to save the mountain.
"Many of the residents in Newington and Wethersfield are unaware of the possible development of this beautiful resource – one of the last open spaces left in Newington," said Ellen Thibeault, a member of the group. "Some don't even know of its existence right in their backyard."
The overlook is impressive, providing not only views over the center of Newington, but also north to Hartford and the Heublein Tower atop Talcott Mountain to Rattlesnake Mountain. Factory smokestacks and church steeples stand out in the background of the surrounding hillsides.
The trail is part of the Cedar Mountain/Balf Park Ridgeline Vista Trail - one of the four corridors of the Newington Greenway System. The other corridors are the Rock Hole Brook and Young's Farm Greenway, the Twenty Rod Road and Candlewick Greenway, and the Piper Brook Flood Control Greenway. The Connecticut Greenways Council designated the area as a state greenway.
Thibeault said the mountain is "very dear to our hearts" and after I visited this traprock ridge and its spectacular view two years ago, I left scratching my head at how I missed this place for years battling traffic and stoplights on the Berlin Turnpike.
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